FAMILIES FIGHT: Medical Marijuana Bills Fails

Iowa parents pled with lawmakers Tuesday to allow a bill legalizing medical marijuana to advance to a hearing but it hit a few road blocks along the way.

We first introduced you to Maria La France and her 12-year old son Quincy last week.

Quincy started having seizures when he was 5-months-old and pharmaceuticals haven’t worked or increased his symptoms.

“Sick Iowans do not know they need medical cannabis until it is too late until their lives are already destroyed,” says La France.

La France joined other families and lawmakers to discuss a bill that would create a medical marijuana program in Iowa; however it failed to advance because of a lack of bipartisan support.

“The simple truth is no Republican lawmaker was willing to sign onto legislation that would give even one Iowan medicines used in 20 other states,” says Democratic Sen. Joe Bolkcom.

But parents are not giving up.

“We`re going to keep working diligently between now and the next legislative session to try to get a medical cannabis bill passed,” says West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer.

Gaer’s daughter, 24-year-old Margaret suffers from Dravet Syndrome.  It’s a rare and devastating form of epilepsy.

Margaret is currently on a waiting list for Charlotte’s Web, an oil based marijuana made in Colorado for children with seizures.

Gaer says although he loves West Des Moines, the family has considered moving to get their daughter the medicine she needs.

“I think that if it was something that was really going to help her, I owe it to her as her Dad to do that, and I’m hoping that`s not the case but I think as a parent you want the best for your children and if it would help Margaret her quality of life then I owe it to her to do that,” says Gaer.

Republicans failed to support the bill but Republican Rep. Rob Taylor says the ball is rolling.

“I`m very supportive of looking into how we should use medical cannabis,” says Rep. Taylor.

Supporters of the bill say they plan to spend the rest of the session educating lawmakers on the benefits of medical marijuana and plan to reintroduce similar legislation next year.

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