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PRESS ADVISORY: A Sensible Conversation about Medical Cannabis in Iowa — Monday, December 2 at Des Moines Public Library

Senator Joe Bolkcom sent this press advisory out today.

Senator Joe Bolkcom sent this press advisory out today.

NOVEMBER 22 , 2013

PRESS ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE USE

A Sensible Conversation about Medical Cannabis in Iowa – Monday December 2, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Des Moines Public Library, downtown, 1000 Grand Avenue.

The meeting will feature a presentation by the former Medical Director of the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Dr. Jenison will make a presentation on the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. In addition, several patients and family members will present their stories at the meeting. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions about the New Mexico program and about the status of advocacy efforts in Iowa.

Monday December 2, 6:00-7:30 pm – Des Moines Public Library, downtown, 1000 Grand Avenue

Iowa-born creator of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program hopes to help Iowa patients.

Dr. Steven Jenison, M.D., probably knows more about medical marijuana than any other Iowa native.

The Iowa-trained public health physician served as the first Medical Director and first Medical Advisory Board Chair to the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Dr. Jenison earlier represented the New Mexico Department of Health during the legislative hearings that resulted in the creation of the State of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program in 2007. Twenty U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use.*

From now until early December, Dr. Jenison is studying emergency medical care at the University of Iowa’s College of Medicine. To encourage his home state to adopt a science-based, compassionate approach to medical cannabis, he is available for news interviews and is appearing at public meetings throughout the state.

“Of course I’d like my home state of Iowa to join the 20 other states where marijuana is available for medical use,” said Jenison. “Refusing effective medication to people who are suffering is offensive to me as a doctor. I believe Iowa is a place where, like New Mexico, science and compassion are more important than partisan politics.”

The New Mexico law made the use and possession of marijuana legal for patients “in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”

The New Mexico approach has been widely praised as effective and focused on helping patients. In 2010, after extensive review, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy voted unanimously to recommend that the Iowa Legislature legalize the use of medical marijuana. During those discussions, members of the board specifically suggested that Iowa adopt the State of New Mexico’s approach. The Iowa Legislature has not yet addressed the issue.

Dr. Jenison was born in Ames, graduated from Iowa State University, and earned a medical degree from the University of Iowa. In 1999, he received the UI College of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for Service in recognition of his work in developing a rapid diagnostic test during the Four Corners hantavirus outbreak of 1993. Dr. Jenison can be contacted via email at stevenjenison@windstream.net.

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