Earlier this week, lawmakers in Des Moines once again introduced the Medical Cannabis Act for consideration. Unfortunately, the legislation will die for the year if it is not reported out of the Senate Human Resources Committee by the end of the week. If you live in Iowa, please email the committee members today and ask them to hold a hearing on this bill.
If passed, the Medical Cannabis Act will protect Iowans with serious and debilitating medical conditions from arrest or prosecution for using medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. The legislation also requires the department of public health to develop rules governing the distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients. Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have compassionate laws on the books; it’s about time Iowa does the same.
It’s time both Republicans and Democrats in Iowa stand up for those less fortunate and allow trained medical professionals to recommend medical marijuana when they think its use is appropriate.
The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Thursday at 12:00 p.m. ET on a bill that would allow people suffering from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian
HB 350, known as the Cannabis Compassion Act, introduced on February 10 by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville), a registered nurse, was the first effective medical marijuana bill ever introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives. It would allow licensed patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. It would also establish safety compliance facilities and permit one medical marijuana compassion center for every 100,000 state residents. Sen. Perry Clark (D-Louisville) introduced a similar measure, SB 43, earlier this year.
Nearly 80% of Kentucky adults think people with serious illnesses should be allowed to access and use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctors recommend it, according to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll released in May 2013.
Sen. David Haley
In 2013, Senator David Haley introduced SB 9, which would establish a compassionate medical marijuana program in Kansas similar to the programs in 20 other states. That bill is still alive, but it has yet to be called to a vote in committee. In order to bring attention to the issue, he will be leading a rally to support patient access starting on the first floor of the Kansas Capitol Rotunda.
Despite the repeated requests of voters, MPP supporters, and Sen. Haley himself, the chairperson for the Committee on Public Health and Welfare has refused to set the bill for a hearing. Please help this important bill be heard. If you attend, please be sure to dress professionally and be respectful to all legislators. The rally begins at 9:30 a.m., but please arrive early. Participants are invited to remain afterwards to talk with senators and representatives to support access to medical marijuana.
A sizeable majority of Kansans support allowing medical marijuana. The legislature should stop frustrating the clear will of the voters and allow seriously ill patients to have access to a medicine that is safer than many pharmaceuticals.
Rep. Matt Gaetz
Yesterday, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz (R) introduced legislation to allow individuals to use medical marijuana containing very low levels of THC. The Speaker of the House is willing to let the bill move through his chamber. If you live in Florida, please email your lawmakers and ask them to support this very limited, yet compassionate, bill.
House Bill 843 would amend the definition of cannabis in the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act to exclude marijuana that is both less than 0.5% THC and more than 15% CBD. Marijuana high in CBD has been found to be very effective at controlling seizures.
While HB 843 would dramatically improve the well-being of patients with catastrophic seizure conditions, it would also leave many other patients behind. Possessing and using marijuana with higher amounts of THC will continue to be a criminal offense. Many patients in the 20 states and Washington, D.C. (which have comprehensive medical marijuana programs), including patients with multiple sclerosis, cancer, and ALS, find relief from marijuana containing more than THC than HB 843 allows.
Florida voters will have a chance to approve medical marijuana this year as well, following the qualification of a ballot initiative last week.
MPP has posted a freshly updated guide to state medical marijuana laws that contains all the latest legal and policy changes you need to know about! The full report is available here.