Mom's Quest for Legal Cannabis - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Mom's Quest for Legal Cannabis

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by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

 A substance so many condemn is exactly what Maria La France and others hope will save lives.
 
Every parent sometime in their life has to help their child walk.  Maria La France has been helping her son Quincy for 12 years.

"You know maybe thinking is this the end?  Is this going to be the funeral?  There have been periods of time lately were he's just been so bad that I started taking photographs of him with people that care about him.  Just in case he's not there," says La France.

Quincy suffers from epileptic seizures.  They began when he was 5-months-old.

When she's tried everything legal, she now pushes for one that's not.

"I'm so used to stigma that the stigma around medical cannabis, I mean, get over it.  It's medicine," says La France.
 
She took her case to the State Pharmacy Board Tuesday morning.

She's researched how a strain of cannabis oil has helped Australian kids with the same thing Quincy has.

She urged the board to look into the state code where they could have 60 days to make rules allowing medical marijuana.

The board rejected the idea, saying it needs to start in the Iowa Legislature.

In the Statehouse, there's support, but in an election year, the way is bumpy.
 
The legislature ends in late spring.  If nothing happens, Maria and Quincy think about moving to one of the more than 20 states that allow medical marijuana for epilepsy.

"It took us a long time to find friends and family that accept Quincy just he way he is and that' a rare think and of course we'll start over if we have to.  But I'm really hoping on the legislature, the Iowa board of pharmacy, the Governor, once they know that it's medicine too.  They'll quickly change their mind," says La France.

There's going to be at least two bills on medical marijuana this session. One to make medical purposes legal. The other is to build a state run structure based on New Mexico's to make sure it would be used properly.

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