Lori Tassin

Lori Tassin

One of the cancer patients who joined the lobbying effort to encourage Iowa lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana has died. Lori Tassin of Des Moines spoke in June during a statehouse news conference.

“Almost five years ago I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer,” Tassin said. “Last summer, after the cancer had metasticized to the brain, we did research on cannabis oil as another treatment option.” Tassin told lawmakers the prescription medications she took had far more harmful side effects than medical marijuana and cannabis oil could help with her nausea and lack of appetite.

Tassin was “outraged” when House Republicans passed a bill to legalize fireworks, but refused to take up a bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana for treatment of conditions like hers.

“This shows me that the sick and suffering in Iowa mean nothing to some lawmakers,” Tassin said. “…Please do your job and listen to our sick Iowans.” Tassin was lobbying for a specific bill that would have legalized marijuana as treatment for medical conditions that cause seizures, persistent pain, nausea and other chronic ailments.

“Please be our heroes and legalize medicinal cannabis,” she said in June. “This bill can help so many sick Iowans.” The 2015 legislature ended in early June without passing the bill.

Tassin died Friday. She was 44. Her funeral is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Des Moines. She did not smoke and suspected high levels of radon in her home were the cause of her lung cancer. She is survived by a husband and four children.