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Capitol Highlights: Medical marijuana

By Staff | Mar 14, 2014

A number of people have contacted me about medical marijuana as of lately. It would be difficult for me to vote for the use of medical marijuana in the smoking form. I believe it is a gateway drug to other harsher forms of drugs. We have spent a great deal of money trying to help people stop smoking tobacco and to prevent people from smoking tobacco. Why would we legalize smoking marijuana? If there are various substances in the marijuana plant that could be medicinal when extracted and used in the form of a pill or whatever, that would need to be looked at. Other states that have loosened laws allowing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes have encountered “unintended consequences” in the aftermath. The opium plant is used to extract morphine. I am grateful for morphine as I have had five knee operations.

Friday, March 14, is the last day that legislation passed by our chamber must be passed by the appropriate committee in the other chamber. If that does not occur it would no longer be eligible for debate in either chamber. The only exceptions to this rule are those bills that have a fiscal impact on the state budget. Some of the bills passed in either chamber could be changed in the other chamber or the bill could be different to begin with and would have to go through a conference committee. I realize that by the time you read this it will have already happened.

Radon testing

Although most or all of the schools in District 7 are currently testing for radon or have tested for radon I did vote for a bill that would require the department of education to inform school districts about the risks associated with radon. Each school district would have to notify the department by Dec. 1 whether it has a radon testing and mitigation plan. If schools do not have a plan for radon testing and mitigation they would have to notify the department of any plans to implement a radon testing and mitigation plan. That plan would be forwarded on to the legislature in January of 2015. This law is designed to encourage our school districts to move forward on the radon issue. It is believed that there is a radon problem that is not being looked into at this time. The data that we get will help the legislature understand the scope of the situation without putting an out-and-out mandate on school districts.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent your interests in the Iowa House of Representatives. Please call or e-mail with any questions or comments and I will do my best to find you an answer.

Statehouse: (515) 281-3221

e-mail tedd.gassman@legis.iowa.gov