Pubdate: Mon, 29 Feb 2016
Source: Storm Lake Pilot Tribune (IA)
Copyright: 2016 Storm Lake Pilot Tribune
Author: Kathy Paule Schnell


Over the last two years I have learned a whole lot more than I ever 
expected or wanted to know about medical cannabis. I became involved 
in advocacy for this issue when I learned about the mothers of kids 
with epilepsy who were down at the statehouse every day talking to 
our representatives on behalf of their sick babies and children many 
of whom have up to 100 seizures a day. That was in 2014. The result 
of their blood, sweat and tears that year was a puny bill signed into 
totally ineffective and worthless law by Gov. Terry Branstad.

In 2015 the Iowa Senate Democrats passed a comprehensive bill that 
would have helped people with many more medical conditions to access 
medicine that they need, a medicine that is legal in 23 states, but 
our House Republicans refused to allow it to go to the floor a vote.

Last week a Republican representative introduced a new bill in the 
house commerce committee that actually strongly passed out of 
committee and will go to the house floor for a vote, if Mrs. Upmeyer 
will allow it. But first it was sliced, diced and mutilated, 
resulting in a bill that limits the medical conditions to just three 
that can benefit. Apparently these butchers think they are qualified 
medical doctors because in their infinite wisdom they have declared 
that epilepsy, MS and the final year of terminal cancer are the only 
conditions that deserve to be helped.

Don't you think we should leave that to the patient and the doctor 
doing the prescribing? Crohn's Disease is one illness that I am 
intimately familiar with and it is treated successfully with cannabis 
in many states. My husband suffered with Crohn's for many years, took 
the full battery of dangerous and ineffective drugs, had several 
surgeries and finally the last one which resulted in him living the 
last 16 years of his life with no colon.

Here is the mentality that we have making our decision in the Iowa 
statehouse (and I find this type of obstructionist negativity on more 
than one issue being discussed in Des Moines). My representatives in 
Des Moines are playing on the Obstructionist Team. Just like in D.C. 
I suspect that your representatives are playing on that team, too. To 
find out for yourself, just ask them. They will pour on the syrup and 
tell you how compassionate they are, but "we need more studies" 
(there have been 20,000+ worldwide), or "we want to wait for the FDA 
approval" (the FDA does not approve or disapprove God's plants), or 
"what message does it send to the kids" (How about this message: that 
we were all lied to for a long, long time?). All of those are excuses 
that tell us that they have not learned a thing from the many 
patients, the doctors, the pharmacists, and advocates who have worked 
tirelessly to educate them.

But what they have learned is how to sidestep. It's all BS, double 
talk and political mumbo jumbo.

I have so much more that I'd like to tell you, but unfotunately space 
will likely not allow it.

Some representatives do not have any intention of helping the nearly 
half-million sufferers in our state who have conditions for which 
cannabis is an effective treatment. Iowans want their sick and 
suffering friends and family members to have access to medical 
cannabis. Our representatives are up for re-election in November. 
Perhaps we should be looking for some challengers.

Kathy Paule Schnell / Belmond
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom