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Senate to Debate Medical Marijuana Bill

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A renewed effort to legalize the use of marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy has won support in the Legislature.

A three-member subcommittee, then the full Senate Ways and Means Committee, approved a measure Wednesday that would allow the medical use of oil derived from marijuana as a last-resort treatment for chronic epilepsy. It is now eligible for floor debate.

The form of marijuana that would be legalized cannot be smoked and doesn't create a high, and could only be obtained in another state that produces the oil.

Efforts by women who have children with epilepsy changed some lawmakers' views on the issue and sparked a revival of a bill previously believed to be dead. New policy measures cannot be brought up late in the session unless legislative leaders sponsor them.