A handful of Iowans with chronic epilepsy are waiting for the state to grant their request for a card that shields them from state prosecution if they are caught using cannabis oil to try to reduce their seizures. The 2014 law that had granted state registration cards to chronic epileptics was repealed last month when Governor Branstad approved a new medical marijuana law.
“At this point in time, we don’t have a way to approve applications for patient and primary caregiver cards that we’re getting, even for patients with intracible epilepsy,” said Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Today, the State Board of Healh voted to ask a legislative committee to approve emergency rules for issuing the medical cannabis registration cards. Because of the new state law allowing Iowans to use cannabis oil as treatment for more than a dozen conditions, the board’s proposed rules call for issuing cards for patients who have diagnosed with a terminal illness like cancer or debilitating conditions like MS, Parkinson’s and ALS as well as chronic epilepsy. The legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee will consider the issue at its meeting next Tuesday.