Iowa Gov. Branstad warns about medical marijuana

Mar 10, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he worries drug abuse would increase if medical marijuana became legal in Iowa.

Branstad on Monday told reporters he empathizes with those suffering from illnesses who believe they would benefit from using medical marijuana, but he fears there would be unintended consequences to its legalization. He says he's already concerned with prescription drug abuse across the state, and he thinks legalizing medical marijuana could further that abuse.

Patients and doctors testified before a legislative panel last week to encourage lawmakers to consider the positive uses of medical marijuana. They also spoke one-on-one with Branstad.

Branstad says lawmakers should be careful drafting laws geared toward such a small subset of Iowa's population. He says more study is needed before seriously considering such legislation.

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