Iowa Epilepsy Foundation asks Congress for more cannabis oil research

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG TV9) -- A group of Iowans spent Tuesday in Washington DC pushing lawmakers to loosen the federal restrictions on medical cannabis. The group argues medical cannabis deserves more research, and says cannabis-legal states should have more protection.

Directors of the Iowa Epilepsy Foundation spent the day testifying in front of Congress. They're asking law-makers to do more research about the benefits of using cannabis oil to treat epilepsy.

The organization says there is a common misunderstanding that the oil will get patients high. They want federal law-makers to allocate funds to the center for disease control to collect more data and do more research on the oil's medical benefits.

In Dubuque a new group is forming to raise awareness about epilepsy. Kim Knutson is helping organize an epilepsy awareness walk in Dubuque. Her daughter, Jessica has epilepsy and has experienced several seizures over the past few years. Jessica doesn't use cannabis oil, but the family says having better legal access to the oil can drastically improve patient's quality of life.

"To help stop the seizures and let the children be able to try and live a fairly normal life, because the medicine they are on now, there are so many side effects to the medicine they are on," said Kim Knutson.

Knutson says there’s a great amount of stress that comes along with the fact that a seizure can happen anywhere and anytime. That's a big reason the group organized an epilepsy awareness walk on Saturday May 14th at the Mystique Ice Arena. Money will be used in Iowa for epilepsy research and awareness. The walk starts at 9 a.m.