Iowa lawmakers worked until early Thursday morning passing the last bills of the 2014 session, but the work is not over for the Senate.
Among the bills passed by the House is one legalizing the limited use of medical marijuana. The House officially adjourned at 5:54 a.m. but the Senate is expected to return to work Friday.
After hours of deliberations, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill early Thursday morning legalizing cannabis oil to be used to treat children with epilepsy.
“One thing I want to make very, very clear. This bill does not legalize medical marijuana in the state of Iowa. It does not do that,” says Republican representative Jarad Klein.
Earlier Wednesday the cannabidiol bill looked like it would be left behind this session. But it began showing signs of life late into the night.
Shortly before 2:00 a.m. Thursday, House majority leader Linda Upmeyer said the House would debate the bill. Under the terms of the bill patients and their caregivers who receive a neurologist’s recommendation will be allowed to have up to 32 ounces of the oil.
“We’re not selling it in the state of Iowa. We’re not allowing it to be grown in the state of Iowa. We’re not allowing it to be distributed. All we are saying is you can have it in your possession in the state of Iowa. You still have to leave the state to get it,” says Rep. Klein.
The House did make at least one change to the bill. That change stated an Iowa doctor must be the one to prescribe the oil and to designate caregivers.
The bill passed with a vote of 38 to 8.
The House actually suspended its own rule against voting after midnight. That was suspended around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. That allowed the House to vote on several other bills including the cannabidiol bill.