Last Update: October 6, 2014

Governor signs "Medical Cannabidiol Act" into law

The Iowa Legislature has adjourned its 2013-2014 session, but not before sending a medical cannabidiol act to Gov. Terry Branstad, who signed the bill into law on May 30. The “Medical Cannabidiol Act” gives a limited class of individuals with intractable epilepsy and their caregivers an affirmative and complete defense to any state criminal charges arising out of their use of possession of cannabidiol extract. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found naturally in marijuana. Patients are only able to use extracts that have, at most, three percent THC. They are only allowed to access these extracts by traveling to medical marijuana states that allow non-resident qualified patients to visit dispensaries.    

While this is an improvement to current law, it leaves the vast majority of medical marijuana patients without legal protections for using and possessing the medicine their doctors think is best for them. If you’re a resident of Iowa, please email your lawmakers today thanking them for taking this small first step and encouraging them to support a more comprehensive medical marijuana bill next year. 

It’s time for Iowa to join the 23 states (and Washington, D.C.) that exempt medical use of marijuana from criminal law. Let your legislators know: It’s time to stop treating the seriously ill in Iowa like criminals!

Make sure to sign up for MPP’s free state specific alerts to stay up-to-date on the progress of these bills.

2010 Board of Pharmacy Ruling

In 2009-2010, MPP worked with Carl Olsen and Iowa Patients to lobby the Board of Pharmacy. Thank you to all who participated! You can watch the testimony here. On February 17, 2010, the Board of Pharmacy voted 6-0 to recognize marijuana’s medical value and to recommend that the legislature reschedule marijuana to only Schedule II. The public also supports medical marijuana. A February 2010 Seltzer & Co. Iowa poll found that 64% of Iowans support patient use of medical marijuana with a doctor's approval!

Are you a patient?

If you are supportive and are a medical professional, a seriously ill patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, a law enforcement official, a clergy member, or a member of the legal community, or you know someone else that is, please email  to see how you can be of special help. Please include your address or nine-digit ZIP code.

Learn more about Iowa’s marijuana laws

Iowa has harsh marijuana laws and arrested more than 6,600 people for marijuana offenses in 2010. First-offense possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, one of the most severe first offense penalties in the country. Unfortunately, these draconian penalties hit minority and low-income communities the hardest. According to the ACLU, blacks in Iowa are almost eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana prohibition than whites. Please ask your legislators to end marijuana prohibition now

You can learn more about Iowa’s marijuana penalties and enforcement by reading this report by economist Jon Gettman, Ph.D.

Stay connected

Thank you for supporting MPP. To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Iowa, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service.







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