Pubdate: Sat, 24 Mar 2007
Source: Independent Iowan, The (IA)
Section: Volume 1, No. 17
Email:  Carl Olsen
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Advocates Joining 12 Other States Permitting Use Of Medical Marijuana

There are a number of drug law reform issues in the 2006 Iowa 
Democratic Party State Platform, particularly regarding marijuana. I 
don't expect Iowa legislators will be so bold as to support 
decriminalization of marijuana like Dennis Kucinich 
(, but it is certainly within 
expectation that Iowa will show the same courage as New Mexico 
Governor Bill Richardson and do something to protect people who use 
marijuana as medicine.

In 2005, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected a medical marijuana user's 
plea for the common law defense of medical necessity 
(, basing 
the ruling on the absurd claim that the Iowa Legislature had 
specifically prohibited the defense by enacting medical marijuana 
legislation in 1979 (Iowa Code section 124.206(7)(a)).

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote: 
"[W]e hold that Raich's common law necessity defense is not 
foreclosed by Oakland Cannabis or the Controlled Substances Act ..." 
and "[C]hanges in state law reveal a clear trend towards the 
protection of medical marijuana use ..." Raich v. Gonzales, No. 
03-15481, March 14, 2007.

The Iowa Supreme Court was not only wrong, it distorted the intent of 
the Iowa Legislature in passing medical marijuana legislation in 
1979. The evidence is overwhelming. Eleven states have legalized 
medical marijuana cultivation (medical patients and their care 
providers allowed to cultivate marijuana in their homes), and New 
Mexico has just been added as the 12th state to the list of states 
that have protected the medical use of marijuana.

Are Iowans' legislative representatives go-ing to stand by and let 
the Iowa Supreme Court tell people they have to suffer and blame it 
on the Iowa Legislature?

For the sake of an aging state population seeking the broadest set of 
options possible for extending quality in each life, Iowans should 
ask their legislative leaders to exert common sense in support of 
legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman