Iowa News

Unlikely source calls for medical marijuana debate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A renewed call for lawmakers to consider legalizing medical marijuana is coming from an unlikely source.

Sen. Gene Fraise, a 79-year-old Fort Madison Democrat, has drafted a bill on the issue. The 26-year veteran of the Senate sits on a number of corrections-related bodies, and is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He's also vice chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and serves on a justice budgeting committee.

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy in 2010 recommended that state lawmakers reclassify marijuana for medical use, but lawmakers have done little to act on the recommendation.

Fraise, who's personally undecided on the issue, thinks introducing a bill will force a conversation and help lawmakers come to consensus on the controversial topic.

It's unclear when it may be discussed.

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