Families wait as lawmakers consider future of Iowa’s medical marijuana program

DES MOINES — Caleb Helland, when he was 10 years old, was having roughly 10 atonic, or “head-drop,” seizures as a result of his intractable epilepsy.

After two weeks of cannabis oil treatments, the Mason City boy’s atonic seizures stopped completely and never returned, his mother said. That was roughly a year-and-a-half ago.

“He’s way more aware of his surroundings. He’s a lot more alert, just more with it,” Cassie Helland said of her son, who is now 12 years old. “He’s in a wheelchair, and he doesn’t speak, but he smiles a lot. You can just tell by looking at him that he’s kind of more there.”

Caleb Helland is one of the many dramatic success stories that advocates like his mother relay to state legislators as they consider the future of Iowa’s medical cannabis program.

Iowa lawmakers in 2014 passed a limited medical cannabis program that allows residents to possess cannabidiol, a

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