Senator Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) is sponsoring Senate File 293 – Medical Marijuana Act.  The Iowa Independent reports:

(This act) would allow the possession and use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, create compassion centers and provide for criminal and civil penalties for misuse.

A qualifying patient would be issued a registry identification card to allow them to possess and use marijuana without prosecution or arrest. Those who would be eligible would include people diagnosed by a medical doctor with a “debilitating medical condition” like cancer, hepatitis C, Crohn’s Disease, AIDS or a chronic medical condition that causes severe pain, nausea, seizures or certain muscle spasms.

If passed, Iowa would become the 14th state to allow residents with serious debilitating conditions to use marijuana for relief. Several other states, like Illinois, New Hampshire and New Jersey, are currently studying similar legislation.

In 1999, The Institute of Medicine studied the potential therapeutic value of marijuana and found that the drug did help with symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and appetite stimulation.

So I’m curious what you think?  I’m not sure why they are considering this bill when they have more important things to consider during this Assembly.

Update: Vanessa who is a nurse with experience working with hospice patients made a great point regarding this debate.

The legalization of marijuana is one of my pet peeves, because we already have plenty of medications that work MUCH BETTER than marijuana for relieving pain and nausea. I have taken care of numerous patients with advanced cancer and have NEVER seen a case of pain that was not relieved by perfectly legal medications that are widely available. Don’t let anyone tell you that they “need” marijuana – that is hogwash. Marijuana is extremely toxic and has no significant therapeutic benefit that cannot be provided by other medications.

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