(Seth McConnell, Denver Post file)

Ask The Cannabist: Marijuana is still illegal in Iowa. When will that change?

Welcome to our Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 100-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at askthecannabist@gmail.com.

Hey, Cannabist!

When is Iowa expected to change its marijuana laws?
–Hotboxing Hawkeyes

Hey, Hotbox!

Some change happened last year when Iowa passed a CBD-only medical bill. To check in on additional changes I spoke with Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for advocacy group the Marijuana Policy Project.

Capecchi confirmed that Iowa does not have an initiative or referendum legislative process and all legal changes are made through the state legislature. Capecchi sees a decriminalization bill likely being introduced this legislative session, but he doesn’t see a comprehensive medical marijuana bill in Iowa’s near future.

“There have been somewhat-positive comments from the governor about medical benefits of marijuana,” says Capecchi. “I don’t see a willingness to pass a comprehensive medical marijuana law.”

Interestingly, Iowa’s legislative session is a two-year cycle. Whatever bills that don’t get taken care of in the first session get carried over to the next year without needing to be reintroduced.

For a reminder of current marijuana laws and penalties, check out the Iowa pages on NORML and the MPP’s websites. XO

Remembering Benton Mackenzie: An eastern Iowa man who was convicted late last year of growing marijuana that he used to treat his rare form of cancer died in January 2015