STILL HOPE: ‘More Discussions’ On Medical Marijuana Bill

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Iowa lawmakers say families’ personal pleas to legalize medical cannabis are changing minds at the statehouse.

Weeks ago legislators said the legalization effort was dead for the year. But Thursday, they expressed some optimism

Families and supporters who want to legalize marijuana’s use for health reasons have held several events over the past three months.

“I held one of the babies on the Senate floor this week. And that kind of brings it into perspective. That’s really what this is about,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said.

Supporters believe medical cannabis could ease symptoms for those fighting certain diseases like epilepsy. They contend the oil made from the marijuana can’t be abused.

The families’ stories have lawmakers seriously considering a change to the law.

“Clearly there’s elevated discussion since we started the session,” House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer said. “I think there are more and more people that are being better educated on the topic. There are more discussions on what is possible.”

Rep. Upmeyer wouldn’t say it’s impossible to pass a bill this year but still considers it unlikely since lawmakers plan to adjourn in a few weeks. It’s more likely that lawmakers would form a committee to study the issue before next year’s session.

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