While sick Iowans and their families advocate for a comprehensive medical cannabis bill, one which would give medical doctors the authority to prescribe, our governor wants Iowa to buddy up with Illinois. This puzzles me. Where have you been, Terry?

We want doctors to be able to prescribe the form of cannabis that is best suited to the individual, seriously ill patient. Ample studies around the world have shown cannabis to be effective in treating a multitude of illnesses: epilepsy, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, posttraumatic stress disorder, Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, anorexia, HIV/AIDS, fibromyalgia, neuropathy and the side effects of chemotherapy. Hospice patients can get pain relief from cannabis.

But all cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 drug. That is the problem. Iowa needs cannabis to be placed on Schedule II, which would unbind the hands of the medical community and allow doctors to prescribe as they deem appropriate.

As a healthy 61-year-old with no need of cannabis, I advocate for those who are too ill to advocate for themselves. As the widow of a person with Crohn's disease, I know the severity and desperation with that illness.

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We Iowans can figure this out. We have rich soil and well-educated citizens. Let's find a way to produce, process and distribute our own cannabis. Don't increase the cost to sick Iowans while filling the pockets of another state — one which the governor has publicly criticized as corrupt. It's time for a sensible, workable, compassionate approach to medical cannabis.

Kathy Paule Schnell

Belmond, Iowa