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CEDAR FALLS | A coalition calling itself Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis will hold a public meeting Monday night in Cedar Falls to educate the public on the state’s medicinal marijuana laws and the scientific studies showing promise for using the drug to treat various diseases.

The meeting is open to the public, and it will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Cedar Falls Public Library, 524 Main St.

Ed Maslak, a board member of the Iowa Epilepsy Foundation whose daughter has epilepsy, will lead the discussion, but it will include input from other area Iowans who hope to benefit from an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana laws.

Dale Todd, legislative chairman for the Iowa Epilepsy Foundation, said Maslak is one of the “most knowledgeable and passionate advocates for epilepsy in Iowa.”

Current state law gives patients and parents of patients with intractable epilepsy the ability to possess an oil form of marijuana that is low in THC -- the component of marijuana that gives people a high -- but it doesn’t provide a means to access the drug.

A bill to expand access to the drug and include ailments beyond intractable epilepsy has been introduced in the Iowa Senate, but it is unclear whether the legislation will move forward this year.

Advocates for expanding the program will provide testimonials, including Brienna Decker, whose son has epilepsy; Ross Brase, whose son has Crohn’s disease; and Jon Custis, who will discuss post-traumatic stress disorder.

Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis is a coalition of individuals and organizations in favor of “a safe and controlled” medical cannabis program for people with qualifying, debilitating health conditions. The program will include information about other state laws regarding medicinal marijuana.

Members of the coalition include the Iowa Epilepsy Foundation, the National MS Society, the Iowa Brain Injury Alliance, Community HIV Alliance and Iowa Easter Seals.

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