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Branstad 'Working With Legislators' Towards Medical Marijuana Bill This Session

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Photo by John Pemble
Governor Terry Branstad at the Statehouse.

Governor Terry Branstad said Monday he would consider signing a bill with limited allowances for medical cannabis to be prescribed in Iowa. During an appearance on Iowa Public Radio’s River to River, Branstad said he did not want to create more problems or unintended consequences by signing marijuana legislation.

“But, it looks like we could end up with something that’s very limited in focus, like as passed recently in Utah and Alabama,” Branstad said. “I’m certainly working with legislators to see if there’s a possibility to work something out on that before the legislature adjourns.”

Last month, the Utah legislature approved a bill to allow families to buy hemp extract for children with severe epilepsy, for whom regular treatments were not effective. A bill signed into law by in Alabama will allow a person being prosecuted for the possession of marijuana to introduce evidence of medical necessity to the court.

“I have a lot of respect for the Governor of Utah, and what they’ve done,” Branstad said. “I want to visit with the Governor of Alabama. I want to talk with law enforcement and the people who deal with drug abuse, to make sure this is not something that is going to create problems for them.” 

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.