A bill probably will be filed in the Iowa Legislature next year seeking to making it legal for people with certain illnesses that have confounded traditional treatment efforts to obtain marijuana for medical use.
And it likely won’t be taken seriously. It might not even get a committee vote.
In fact, the last high-profile development in Iowa on the issue was a prank. State Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, traveled to California in 2010 and pretended to have hemorrhoids so he could show just how easy it is to get a prescription for pot. What a hoot. Even the House Ethics Committee laughed it off. Cheech and Chong and Clel. Classic.
But if Baudler had gone to New Mexico, his stunt would have gone up in smoke.
New Mexico approved a medical marijuana law in 2007, and an Iowa native is among the key architects of the extensive rules and regulations that followed. Dr. Steve Jenison grew up in Ames, graduated from Iowa State University in 1975 and the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1981.
Jenison was director of infectious diseases for the New Mexico Department of Public Health, working to stunt an epidemic of hepatitis C among intravenous drug users, when then-Gov. Gary Johnson appointed him to a task force on drug laws. That task force, among other things, recommended legalizing marijuana for medical use. After a few years of political debate, Gov. Bill Richardson signed it into law, and Jenison was assigned to help implement it.
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