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Iowa State Panel Holds Medical Marijuana Hearings

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The Iowa Board of Pharmacy is sponsoring a series of public meetings to gather input on the issue of medical marijuana, the Quad-City Times reported Aug. 2.

Backers of medical marijuana hope the hearings will build public pressure on state lawmakers; the pharmacy board will make an official recommendation on the issue after gathering information at the hearings. Previously, the board rejected a petition from Iowans for Medical Marijuana to recognize medicinal uses of the drug.

However, any changes to Iowa's drug laws would have to come from the legislature, not the pharmacy panel. A medical-marijuana bill died in the state Senate last session, and the House speaker said the proposal lacks sufficient votes for approval — although Speaker Pat Murphy noted that the pharmacy board's report could influence lawmakers' opinions.

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