Advertisement

Letter to the editor: Iowa legislature should override veto of CBD bill

  • 361
    Shares

Cannibidiol (or CBD, here shown in oil form) has been shown to benefit patients with epilepsy, PTSD, ALS, MS, cancer and other conditions. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By Joe Bolkcom, state senator, Iowa City

We all make mistakes.

Gov. Reynolds made a mistake when she vetoed legislation that would make essential improvements to Iowa’s medical cannabis program. She got bad advice and didn’t listen to the Iowans most directly involved.

These are our friends and neighbors who suffer every day with such debilitating, life-threatening conditions as cancer, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and severe and chronic pain.

Even with the most advanced medical care and most powerful prescription drugs, their lives are difficult, to say the least.

These Iowans deserve better.

That is why the governor’s veto is so heartbreaking to sick, vulnerable and, in some cases, dying Iowans.

Unfortunately, after five long years, Iowa’s medical cannabis patients have again been told by Republican politicians that they must wait even longer for the affordable medicines they need.

We can fix this problem. This week, State Representative and pharmacist John Forbes and I called on the Republican and Democratic legislators who voted for modest reforms (137 of Iowa’s 150 legislators) to take action to get medicine to Iowans who need relief.

Legislators worked together on a strong, bipartisan plan to make meaningful improvements to the program. Unfortunately, Gov. Reynolds failed to do her own homework.

Instead of talking to legislators and Iowans, she relied on discredited advice from the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board. Their recommendation to sharply reduce THC levels would make the medicine available in Iowa ineffective for 70 percent of current patients.

The scientific data from 20 years of legal, medical cannabis programs simply do not support Iowa’s strict limits on THC levels. That’s also been the real-life experience of tens of thousands of medical cannabis patients living in the 32 states that already allow medicine with much stronger THC doses.

The governor claims that the reforms in HF 732 would have significant unintended consequences to the health and safety of Iowans. Ironically, the opposite is true.

Curious what's happening this weekend? Sign up here to stay in the know.

Since the start of this year, more than 835,000 narcotic prescriptions have been written by Iowa doctors for their patients! Fifty-four percent of those were for fentanyl and other highly addictive opioids. Iowans need protection from the drug companies and their deadly opioids, not from far safer medicines made from cannabis.

Today, 70 percent of Iowa medical cannabis patients — with an average age of 57 — seek cannabis-based medicines to manage untreatable or severe and chronic pain. Patients with severe pain simply need higher levels THC to get relief.

This is also true for nine of the other ten debilitating medical conditions approved for medical cannabis under state law.

Gov. Reynolds’ veto of this important legislation – House File 732 – is already resulting in more Iowans returning to opioids, the illegal market or other medical cannabis states with effective, compassionate programs. Making it harder and illegal for sick Iowans to get medicine is cruel and life threatening.

By overriding the veto, the Legislature can immediately help thousands of sick Iowans. The votes are there to correct this mistake.

Please contact your state senator and state representative today and ask them to help. Tell your legislators to stand by their votes, stand with the sick patients we all want to help and put the welfare of Iowans ahead of party, politics and drug company profits.


  • 361
    Shares

Comments:

  1. >She got bad advice and didn’t listen to the Iowans most directly involved.

    I’d like to believe that’s what happened, but I have a feeling there are other people (and money) involved in the decision. Not sure it’ll be so easy to get them to just change their minds about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene

STRENGTHEN
GROW•EVOLVE

Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.

Little Village
2019 Give Guide

Get to know some of the nonprofits helping to make the CRANDIC a better place to live.