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Iowa Includes Chronic Pain as a Condition for Medical Cannabis

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The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board has approved new medical conditions on August 2 that qualify for the use of medical cannabis as treatment.

Previously, Iowa law allowed cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain, but the wording was “untreatable pain” rather than “chronic pain.” The new wording opens up cannabis consumption so that more patients can seek treatment.

However, not every proposed condition was passed. Iowa will not yet be allowing medical cannabis to be used as a treatment for anxiety disorder or opiate dependence. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was also proposed as a qualifying condition, however, state officials decided that they would decide on adding PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions at a later date. The Iowa state medical cannabis program does allow cannabis to help treat conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, AIDS or HIV, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.

The Iowa medical cannabis program is not without its faults. Many legislators believe that the will of the people should reign supreme. “It’s time to face facts,” Sen. Joe Bolkcom said. “You’ve created the worst program in the country. In Iowa, the medicine is too expensive and not potent enough to help most people. Patients want choice and want the choice of medical cannabis.”

Sen. Claire Celsi also noted Iowa’s slow movement toward safe access to cannabis. “Either [Iowans] are compelled to break Iowa law or self-medicate. We’re on the wrong side of history going down the wrong road here. Every other state has gone in a different direction, and that should tell us something.”

Still, the allowance of this is welcome news after the recent reports that the Iowa governor vetoed expanding the medical cannabis program in June. Between this and the recent announcement about the state’s hemp program opening up there is definitely hope on the horizon.

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