To the editor:

Gov. Branstad states that he is worried that making medical marijuana available will worsen the widespread abuse of existing prescription drugs.

Does this mean he is against all future drugs that relieve pain and suffering because they might become abused? Or is he going to push to eliminate all pain medication due to the possibility of abuse?

Many prescriptions are derivatives of plants. There are nine known cannabis plants, some with high levels of CBD, and low levels of THC, as well as the nine other known cannabinoids. The oil manufactured for medical purposes can be made by extracting ingredients of the marijuana plant.

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy recommended New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program. But without the Gov. Branstad’s signature on a legislative bill, the Board cannot approve it.

Iowans should have legal access to the medication derived from the marijuana plant. Gov. Branstad’s solution that Iowans should move if they want to benefit from this new drug is not a viable solution.

Julie Stewart Ziesman