Parents respond to Governor's marijuana comments - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents respond to Governor's marijuana comments

Governor Terry Branstad says medical marijuana in Iowa would open the door to drug abuse.

"I understand and empathize with the families that have members that are suffering from various ailments that they think would be benefited from this," he said. "But I also know there are unintended consequences to these things."

But that doesn't sit well with Rachael Selmeski.

"I have heard the words, 'we sympathize with these parents, we empathize with these patients' over and over again this week and there is no possible way that they are remotely trying to understand where these families are coming from," Selmeski said. "If they were, they would be acting on the issues."

Selmeski's young daughter, Maggie, suffers hundreds of seizures a day. The family moved to Colorado to gain access to medical marijuana. Selmeski said she believes the treatment is helping.

"One of my concerns is already the biggest increase in drug abuse has been where you have unauthorized people using other people's prescriptions," Branstad said. "So the abuse of prescription drugs is a big problem in this state and I don't want to do something that's going to exacerbate that."

Selmeski said that would be a non-issue for their case. Maggie's treatment, Cannabidiol, is delivered as an oil, not smoked.

"The abuse just would not be there with the high CBD and low THC oil," she said.

She said before the governor says no to medical marijuana, he should understand their pain.

"Well, if it was his child it would be a lot different," Selmeski said. "If it was someone he cared about it would be a lot different."

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