In a remarkable demonstration of the power of a mother's love, Iowa lawmakers are now considering legislation that would allow patients with severe, debilitating seizure disorders and their caregivers to legally possess an oil that is a non-smokeable form of cannabis.
Updated February 2016
Maria La France (shown in the photo with her epileptic son, Quincy), Sally Gaer, and other moms have spoken persuasively to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy and Iowa legislators about the very serious side effects and medical risks associated with their prescribed seizure medication, which in many cases has not provided effective relief from their children's seizures.
One study found that 81 percent of all Iowans support medical marijuana. Cannabidiol is a marijuana-derived oil that has provided significant relief from seizures for epilepsy patients, but which contains very low amounts of THC (the substance within marijuana that has any psychogenic properties).
Parents of children in states where marijuana or medical cannabis have been legalized have reported significant reduction in the number and severity of life-threatening seizures as a result of cannabidiol-without the harmful side effects of their current prescription medications.
Currently, the FDA has approved clinical trials to study the use of medical cannabis to treat severe epilepsy in children, including the prevention of seizures. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy in 2010 concluded that cannabis has medical benefits and can be an effective treatment option for many conditions.
Medical cannabis has accepted medical use far beyond epilepsy, and this bill should go much, much further. But SF 2360 represents the best chance available now to provide much needed relief from threat of criminal prosecution to vulnerable Iowans with debilitating seizure disorders and their families.
Senators Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) and Charles Schneider (R-West Des Moines) deserve special recognition for being champions for these vulnerable Iowans and their moms.