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Iowa Senate Passes Bill Approving Medical Marijuana by 50-0


April 1993

With no dissenting votes and little debate the Iowa Senate on March 23 passed legislation allowing use of marijuana for medical purposes by 50-0 (Thomas Fogarty, "Iowa Senate Approves Use Of Marijuana As Medicine: Must Be Prescribed," Des Moines Register, 3/24/93, 2M; "Branstad Says He's Leery Of Medicinal Marijuana," Des Moines Register, 3/30/93, 4M).

The legislation, as passed, omitted a provision permitting sick people with prescriptions to grow their own plants, but instructed the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners to first seek supplies from the federal government, and, if that fails, to acquire marijuana seized in criminal cases from the court system for distribution to sick people. The bill was sent to the state House of Representatives.

A week later, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad expressed reservations about the provision providing for use of seized marijuana, but said he would consider the proposal if appropriate safeguards were included.