Medical Marijuana Bill Fails - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Medical Marijuana Bill Fails

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

Iowans will not be lighting up anytime soon.  A House subcommittee voted not to move forward with a bill legalizing medical marijuana in Iowa on Thursday afternoon. 

"Doing any bill, let alone this one, that would legalize marijuana would be at the top one, or two, or three of the stupidest bills that's ever been passed by this organization," said Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield.

Baudler started keeping a file on marijuana and other drugs back in 2009.   He's a big opponent, and chaired Thursday's subcommittee deciding whether to move forward with the medical marijuana bill.

His concerns focused mainly on safety and the effects he sees legalization having on other states.

"It erodes the moral fabric of their state, of their communities," said Baudler.

Those in favor of the bill point to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy's unanimous approval of medical marijuana. 

"These aren't just some stoners looking for the next high," said Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines. "They're not just some abstract numbers out there.  They're real people that are looking for real relief from some real pain."

Patients told the subcommittee legal, regular drugs, do not help.  But opponents, including Blank Children's Hospital, argue legalizing even medical marijuana puts users' children and anyone who must interact with those people in danger.

"I still do not understand the Board of Pharmacy's decision to support medical marijuana and I sure as hell don't agree with it," said Baudler.

Hunter never expected the bill to get far.  He wants lawmakers to look at the facts and not politics, hoping they will open up to the idea over time.

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