Iowa Medical-Marijuana Proponent Dies Of Cancer

IOWA: One of Iowa’s clearest voices on behalf of legalized medical marijuana has died before she could see her efforts succeed.

Lori Tassin, 44, of Des Moines was a regular presence at the Statehouse last spring, button-holing legislators and testifying about why she and other ill Iowans should have the right to try marijuana. She died Friday of the cancer she’d been fighting for five years.

Tassin contended that many other medications doctors prescribe routinely are vastly more dangerous than marijuana.  At a Senate hearing in February, she unfolded a multi-page insert that came with her chemotherapy drug. The document listed numerous possible side effects of the drug, which she was taking for the tumors that had spread from her lungs to her brain. “Tell me that’s not pretty scary to look at,” she said, holding up the lengthy document for the senators to see.

How Much Does Marijuana Impact Your Driving?

IOWA:  A rigorous federal research study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse offers new data on the effects of marijuana on driving performance.

The exact impact of marijuana on driving ability is a controversial subject—and it’s become more important states continue to loosen their drug laws. And, while drunk driving is on the decline in the U.S., driving after having smoked or otherwise consumer marijuana has become more common. According to the most recent national roadside survey from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.3 percent had some alcohol in their system and 12.6 percent tested positive for THC—up from 8.6 percent in 2007.

It is illegal in all states to drive under the influence of anything, but years of work went in to establishing the .08 breathe alcohol limit that exists in most states. The question is whether we can establish a similar threshold for pot.

Posters Claim Marijuana Shop Opening In Iowa, Property Owners Say No

IOWA:  Pictures came into our newsroom, showing Iowa Marijuana Company posters at a Cedar Rapids building, but when we checked it out, they were gone.

“One of our former employees said ‘have you seen the signs on the front of your building,'” said John Wasta, one of the building’s owners.

The building’s owners took the signs down saying there’s no truth to the rumor. They kept one of the posters, laughing at the situation.

We reached out to the manager listed online, who emailed us:

“I will be the acting manager of the impending Iowa Marijuana Company. We are not at large to discuss the legalities at the moment but we have been assured by many in the government, including the governor, that we will receive our license. Our suppliers are based out of Denver currently. Give me a call when you get a chance.”


Iowa’s Medical Marijuana Program Creates “Extra Burdens” For Families, Critics Say

IOWA:  Patients with severe epilepsy appreciate the medical cannabis oil program that Iowa lawmakers approved earlier this year — but they say its provisions create significant hurdles for those who want to use the program.

“I’d like to see the process made easier for the families,” Mount Vernon resident Keith Andrews said Tuesday. “They’re going through so much stress.”

Iowa residents provided input on the program during the 2014 legislative session Tuesday. The state law gives prosecutorial immunity to people in possession of cannabidiol, a non-smokable oil extract of marijuana with a low THC level, to treat severe epilepsy.




Iowa Women’s Group Pushes For Marijuana Reform

IOWA:  West Liberty resident Dawn King says legalized medical marijuana could make a big difference in helping her treat chronic pain from spinal stenosis.

King attended an awareness event focused on Iowa’s marijuana laws that was hosted by the Iowa NORML Women’s Alliance today and said she experiences a great deal of pain from spinal stenosis, a condition she’s had for six years that narrows her spinal canal and “slowly crunches” her nerves.

She said she’s taken drugs such as hydrocodone that doctors prescribed to her but that these drugs make her “loopy” without taking away her pain.

The awareness event took place at F.W. Kent Park and featured speakers and entertainment including a speech by Lee Hieb, who is a Libertarian candidate for governor and a trauma surgeon.


Medical Marijuana, E-Cigarette Rules Among Laws Taking Effect

IOWA:  A host of new laws are scheduled to take effect in Iowa on Tuesday. Here is a look at some of them.

Medical Marijuana

THE LAW: Iowa parents with children suffering from severe epilepsy will be able to access cannabis oil as a treatment option.

WHAT IT DOES: The law legalizes the possession and medical use under certain conditions of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that backers say possesses a wide range of therapeutic benefits. The measure gives prosecutorial immunity to people who possess cannabidiol, a non-smokable oil extract of marijuana with a low THC level to treat seizures. Patients or their caregivers are required to obtain a state-issued registration card to possess the drug and to have a neurologist’s recommendation to obtain the license.


Iowa Families Face Treacherous Trip To Get Cannabis Oil

IOWA: While the Iowa legislature has approved a bill to allow cannabis oil’s use for some patients, the oil will not be sold in Iowa.

Families will be forced to drive to a state where it is available to get it. That means driving hundreds of miles likely to Colorado and then transporting it back through states where it is not legal to possess, like Nebraska.

Amanda Gregory’s six-year-old daughter suffers from a severe form of the neurological disorder.

Chairman of Iowa Republican Party: Time To Legalize Medical Marijuana

IOWA:  Today the Republican Party stands at a crossroads. Not one of taxes or war or school choice or the issues that get far more media coverage, but a crossroads of moral conscience.

For most of us, medical marijuana isn’t a matter of life and death. For most of, this issue doesn’t concern us, doesn’t affect us and most likely never will. And that’s the problem. The Republican Party has allowed the focus to be placed on freedom as an ideal instead of freedom as an asset. [Read more…]

New Iowa Poll: 59% Back Legalizing Medical Marijuana

IOWA: Most Iowans support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, a new Iowa Poll shows.

But if proponents predict that Iowans soon will support allowing recreational use of the drug, you should ask what they’ve been smoking.

Iowans’ views on the subject haven’t shifted in the past year, even as marijuana legalization campaigns have gained momentum elsewhere.

A significant majority — 59 percent — of Iowa adults support making the drug legal for medical purposes, while 37 percent oppose the idea, the new poll shows. Those are about the same as findings from an Iowa Poll taken a year ago in February.

Iowa City Leaders Consider Change In Marijuana Arrest Policies

IOWA:  Iowa City officials are considering making a change to the city’s marijuana policing policy.

City councilman Jim Throgmorton says racial disparity in marijuana arrests and the overcrowding at the Johnson County Jail are the reasons behind a possible change.

“I believe we should at least look very carefully whether they should be detained, arrested, incarcerated, etc., simply for possession and use of marijuana,” said Throgmorton. “In part, it has to do with the fact that African-Americans are arrested in disproportionate numbers and incarcerated in disproportionate numbers merely for possession and use of marijuana.”