Pubdate: Sat, 10 Aug 2013
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Copyright: 2013 The Des Moines Register
Author: Tony Leys


National marijuana-legalization advocates made Clel Baudler's day by 
naming him one of the "Worst State Legislators of 2013."

The Iowa representative burst into laughter when informed this 
afternoon that he'd made the national, eight-member villains' list 
put out by the Marijuana Policy Project. "I appreciate it. How do I 
want to say this? I want to be as snarky as possible," he said. He 
thought about it for a moment, then declared: "I look at this 
designation with pride, coming from a group of individuals who, quite 
frankly in my opinion, don't know sic 'em from whoa."

The Greenfield Republican is a retired state trooper and a 
law-and-order champion in the Iowa House. He has been a staunch 
opponent of efforts to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes. 
He said friends in California and Colorado have urged him to avoid 
the problems they've seen. At one point, he went to California and 
visited a medical-marijuana dispensary. He said no one there appeared 
to have cancer or other serious medical issues. "They were all 
youngish, 35-somethings who looked healthy. They all just want to get 
high legally."

Baudler said he received a prescription for medical marijuana to 
treat his hemorrhoids. When a reporter asked today if the pot helped, 
he retorted: "I wouldn't buy that crap with your money."

The national group, which describes itself as the country's largest 
marijuana policy organization, cited comments Baudler made in helping 
kill a perennial Iowa bill to legalize medical marijuana. At a 
January hearing on the matter, Baudler said: "I've watched state 
government function since 1962 and doing any bill, let alone this 
one, that would legalize marijuana would be one or two or three of 
the stupidest bills that's ever been passed by this organization in 
my opinion."

The pro-marijuana group noted polls showing that majorities of Iowans 
and Americans support such proposals. "Despite some legislators' 
efforts to hold back progress, most Americans now agree that 
marijuana prohibition has failed, and that it is time to adopt a more 
sensible, evidence-based policy," Marijuana Policy Project spokesman 
Mason Tvert said in a press release.

The group cited a Des Moines Register Iowa Poll from last February, 
which found that 58 percent of Iowans support legalizing medical 
marijuana. However, support was down 6 percentage points from a 
similar poll taken in 2010.

Baudler expressed confidence that Iowa would not soon join the 20 
states that have legalized medical marijuana. "There are several of 
us that think clearly in the Iowa Legislature that don't want it to 
happen," he said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom