WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa — Saturday was the day medical marijuana advocates and patients had been waiting for, the first day it was legal to purchase medical cannabis in the state of Iowa.
“It’s kind of surreal really, and I think the most exciting thing probably for us is seeing all these people that are benefiting from all the work and need the help” said Sally Gaer.
Sally Gaer and her husband, West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer, advocated for years on behalf of their daughter; like many others they’ve used CBD oil from Colorado to help her.
“She’s still having seizures at 28 years old. She’s much more alert, we’ve been able to lower some of her pharmaceuticals so that’s helped her not be so doped up because the pharmaceuticals have so many negative side effects, where the cannabis has positive side effects” said Gaer.
The first person to purchase medical marijuana in Des Moines, she says finally having access instate is a blessing.
“To not have to worry about interstate commerce law and all of that, to be able to get it in Iowa manufactured by an Iowa company who’s very scientific and know what they’re doing I think it’s amazing” she said.
The dispensary was packed on Saturday when it opened around 8 a.m., everyone waiting for their chance to buy the medicine they think may finally give them the relief they have been looking for.
“Oh my god, just the idea that it’s going to help so many people including myself, I’ve had chronic pain for over 10 years, so it’s like maybe I can get up one day and actually smile and maybe go back to work and not feel like I’m going to die because I have to work, it’s just an amazing feeling. Iowa’s finally coming out of the dark ages” said Grimes resident Laurel Johnson.
While advocates say there is still more work to be done and more progress to be made, Saturday was a good day.
“I’m going to be real good in a few minutes” said Johnson.
Advocates say they’d like to see the state expand the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana, and the elimination of the 3% cap on THC that can be in the product.