Gov. Terry Branstad will sign a bill that legalizes the use of medical cannabis oil.
The governor announced his intentions during a taping of Iowa Press Friday morning.
The Iowa legislature passed the bill May 1st and advocates have been waiting anxiously to find out whether the governor would support the bill.
It would allow neurologists from Iowa to prescribe up to 32 ounces of the medicine to those who have epilepsy.
A spokesman for Branstad says the governor carefully considered the legislation and spoke with governors from Alabama and Utah, which have passed similar legislation, before reaching the decision. He also says Branstad has empathy for the families the treatment might help.
For one group of Iowa moms it was an uphill battle from the start.
All of them have children who suffer from some form of seizures and all wanted the opportunity to try a medicine that could help provide some relief.
“It means we have another medication option to try because we`ve run out of everything else there is commercially in the market and FDA trialed so it means we have hope,” says Sally Gaer of West Des Moines.
West Des Moines Mayor’s wife Sally Gaer has been fighting for access to cannabis oil from day one.
Her 24 year old daughter Margaret suffers from Dravet Syndrome a rare form of epilepsy where she has multiple seizures a day.
By her side has been Des Moines resident Maria La France.
Her 12 year old son, Qunicy also suffers from seizures, regular pharmaceuticals either haven’t worked or have increased his symptoms.
She is glad her son will also have the opportunity to try a medication that could provide some relief.”
“It`s fantastic for an Iowan to be able to try a medication to save a life and not go to jail, that is absolutely wonderful,” says La France.
Gov. Branstad will sign the bill next week.