Epilepsy foundation awards Iowa City lawmaker's efforts

State senator advocated for the decriminalization of medical cannabis oil for treating intractable epilepsy

Sen. Joe Bolkcom ¬ D-Iowa City
Sen. Joe Bolkcom ¬ D-Iowa City

CORALVILLE — State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, has been awarded the Epilepsy Foundation of Iowa’s first Legislator of the Year award for advocating for the decriminalization of medical cannabis oil for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.

Bolkcom led the passage of a bill in the Iowa Legislature that created a licensing system allowing patients with intractable epilepsy and their caregivers to pursue treatment with cannabidiol, an oil derived from marijuana that has been shown to reduce seizures.

“He’s been on the front lines for us for a long time, not just on cannabidiol, but funding and treatment options,” said Dale Todd, of Cedar Rapids, the legislative chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of Iowa.

The award was made Saturday at the Iowa Seizure Smart Conference in Coralville, which was presented by the Epilepsy Foundation of Iowa and the Epilepsy Foundation, and sponsored by University of Iowa Health Care.