Iowa Senate Democrats Back Medical Marijuana Bill

Marijuana plants flourish under grow lights at a warehouse (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some Democrats in the state Senate want to make marijuana available to critically ill Iowans.

Legislators on Wednesday introduced a bill that allows some use of medical marijuana in the state. Under the bill, a patient with a qualifying condition, such as cancer, could get a prescription for medical marijuana. The law also allows for the creation of nonprofit dispensaries to provide marijuana to eligible patients.

Sen. Jack Hatch, one of the bill's sponsors, says the proposal would help those with chronic pain. He acknowledged the legislation has little chance of becoming law because of opposition by Republican lawmakers, but he says the bill increases public awareness of the potential benefits of medical marijuana.

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