Back in 1979, then state representatives Dale Hibbs (R-Iowa City) and
Bob Arnould (D-Davenport) helped shepherd a bill through the Iowa
House that would have allowed marijuana to be used for medicinal
purposes. With such bipartisan support, the bill managed to get out of
committee and onto the House floor for a full debate.
After a few hours of grueling political circus, the sponsors decided
to withdraw the bill because it was abundantly clear that there wasn't
the support necessary to pass the measure in that legislative session.
[continues 457 words]
Colorado and Washington Bills Gains Attention
DES MOINES ( AP) - Bills that would decriminalize marijuana and
approve its medical use may be headed for the Iowa Legislature after
voters in Colorado and Washington decided that adults should be
allowed to possess small amounts of taxed and regulated pot for
Iowa state Rep. Bruce Hunter, D- Des Moines, is preparing a bill that
would decriminalize pot possession as long as those caught with it
weren't selling it, he told The Des Moines Register.
[continues 370 words]
2 States' Votes to OK Recreational Pot Give New Energy to Movement
Here, but Legislative Hurdles Loom Large
The morning after Election Day, as news sunk in that voters in two
states had legalized recreational marijuana, state Rep. Bruce Hunter
was having conversations with constituents on their front lawns about
the prospect of Iowa doing the same.
"I was out picking up signs, and I ran into several people that wanted
to talk about possibly legalizing marijuana and what we could do," he
[continues 1704 words]
Since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, 16 other states
and the District of Columbia have followed suit. Medical marijuana has
also been discussed in Iowa and was the topic of a Wednesday afternoon
forum at Compass Pointe Behavioral Health Services in Spencer.
Dr. Christian Thurstone - the medical director of the Substance Abuse
Treatment, Education and Prevention Program at Denver Health and
Hospital Authority - was the keynote speaker.
He began "The Blunt Truth About Medical Marijuana Symposium" with a
video clip of a 1994 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws meeting, in which an official talked about medical marijuana as a
stepping stone to outright legalization of the drug.
[continues 341 words]
On Monday night Megan Johnson, health promotion club, introduced Dr.
Christian Thurstone to a packed Sun Room in the Memorial Union. With
a round of applause and some hoots and hollers Thurstone took the stage.
"I don't think we should have medical marijuana," said Thurstone,
addiction and adolescent psychiatrist. "We should have put our
resources into getting the [Investigational New Drug] exemption and
going that route. I think the best we can hope for now if going back
to a care giver model and rejecting legalizing it outright."
[continues 792 words]
Attorney General Eric Holder is being urged by some of the nation's
top law enforcement officials to speak out against ballot initiatives
to legalize marijuana in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
Holder should discuss the dangers of legalizing marijuana, said Peter
Bensinger, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He
joined others in the law enforcement community, including some former
directors of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
No way, reacted the Justice Department. Spokeswoman Allison Price
said Holder will not "speculate" on the ballot initiatives.
[continues 99 words]
Study Will Be First of Its Kind
Marijuana use, despite the legal implications, has been common in
America for generations, and it's becoming even more widespread as
some communities legalize it for medical purposes.
But it wasn't until five years ago that the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration looked into its prevalence behind the wheel and
found that 16.3 percent of the weekend nighttime drivers surveyed at
300 locations across the United States were drug positive.
Cannabis stood out as the most commonly detected drug, according to
the survey. But what the survey didn't show - and what authorities
don't know - is how often drivers are impaired by the drugs,
[continues 945 words]
On Sept. 1 2011, four Drake University students in Ross Hall were
found in possession of marijuana.
Des Moines Police found medicine vials with marijuana and stems in
them, pipes, glass jars containing marijuana, grinders, a one-hitter,
a marijuana vaporizer, water bongs, several containers with marijuana
residue and a scale, according to a Times-Delphic article.
The students were taken to the Polk County Jail. All four faced
fines, court fees and university sanctions; some had previously been
caught with marijuana on campus.
[continues 915 words]
Program Will Stress Treatment, Counseling
The White House's announcement last week of a new drug control policy
puts Iowa at the forefront of a decades-long debate over how to treat
substance abuse and crime - and may affect the case for legalizing
medical marijuana in the state.
President Barack Obama's administration announced a $22 million grant
program in Iowa, Arizona and New Jersey that aims to identify
potential substance abuse problems before they becomes full-blown
disorders. In doing so, the program eschews decades of a war-on-drugs
philosophy based primarily on law enforcement in favor of increased
prevention and treatment.
[continues 774 words]
FAIRFIELD - First, let me introduce myself. My name is Marie Smallow.
I'm 59 years old and if you were to meet me, you would probably
describe me as "grandmotherly." I have been suffering with pain and
discomfort for the past 30 years due to a chronic progressive
neurological condition commonly known as Multiple Sclerosis.
I'm writing to you today to argue for the legalization of Medical
Cannabis. Of course this can only be obtained with a doctor's
prescription. If you're wondering why I wouldn't just take a
prescription painkiller, the reason is that I do not want to become
addicted to anything like OxyContin.
[continues 236 words]
Decriminalization of marijuana is not an issue that is discussed by
Serious People in America who want to focus on Serious Issues. It's
just "pot." It's for "stoners." You want it to be legal? You must be a
It's not a Serious Issue. This attitude and the amount of
misinformation about marijuana is destroying the ability to have a
rational debate on the topic.
It's a new age of McCarthyism, but instead of calling adversaries
communists, the pro-criminalization camp labels their opponents
"stoners," a far more effective label because it implies incompetence
rather than dastardly plans. President Obama and candidate Mitt Romney
have both avoided questions about medicinal marijuana during the
caucus and primary season. Some Iowa legislators, including Iowa
City's Sen. Joe Bolkcomm, are hoping to start a discussion on the
issue of medical marijuana this year, but getting their colleagues to
take the issue seriously will be an uphill battle.
[continues 485 words]
A Gallup Poll in 2010 Showed Americans in Support of Legalizing
Marijuana Outnumbered Those in Opposition
Even those who support marijuana legalization admit this probably
won't be their year in Iowa.
At least one Iowa Senate Republican is calling on lawmakers to
consider legislation to legalize pot for medical use, the measure
will likely stall in the Legislature again this year.
Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, who has supported legalizing medical
marijuana for years, said conversation will keep the issue relevant,
but any serious action will take some time.
[continues 517 words]
DAVENPORT, Iowa-A Davenport postal worker who let drug dealers store
large amounts of cocaine and marijuana in his home has been sentenced
to six years in prison. Roger Dengler pleaded guilty last year to
maintaining a drug house in a case that dates to 2006, when
investigators seized 80 pounds of marijuana from a hotel room.
Police say they learned that Dengler, a 36-year employee of the U.S.
Postal Service, allowed his home to be used to store cocaine and
marijuana. Prosecutors say a big-time dealer shipped marijuana from
Denver to Davenport hidden in tires, which Dengler would then weigh,
repackage and distribute to customers in the area.
In all, prosecutors say he stored up to 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
U.S. District Judge James Gritzner sentenced Dengler Thursday.
Last month's column about being against drug testing welfare
recipients (Dec. 16) turned out to be somewhat controversial.
Many statements were made about welfare recipients not being "beneath
us," and certainly they are not.
What is disturbing, though, is that out of 91 blogs and one letter to
the editor, no one even mentioned the self-serving politics of Florida
Gov. Rick Scott and his ties to Solantic.
If our elected leaders are passing laws that benefit industries they
or their cronies have money invested in while circumventing our
Constitution, then America, we have a problem.
[continues 607 words]
WATERLOO, Iowa --- The thump came a few minutes after Tai-Lin
Phillips went to the bathroom of his small apartment.
When acquaintances who heard the noise went to check on him, they
found Phillips on the floor unconscious.
One of the people in the apartment, 39-year-old Vonvette "Von" Leroy
Sawyers would later tell police and friends he gave Phillips CRP.
Someone called 911.
Paramedics arrived and took Phillips to Allen Hospital, but he never
regained consciousness and was declared dead.
[continues 1045 words]
At first glance, Ron Paul's position on drugs may seem contrary to
conventional wisdom, but that's because what has become conventional
is not wisdom.
1) Much of federal drug laws operate outside of powers delegated to
the government. Enforcement operates contrary to constitutional
restraints. They break the law in the name of public policy. Where is
the wisdom in this?
2) The "War on Drugs" is supposed to stop the import, manufacture,
distribution, and use of harmful "psychoactive" substances. So after
40 years we should have the problem pretty much licked, right?
[continues 148 words]
Iowa Hospitals Report Spike In People Sick From Bath Salts
CHEROKEE, Iowa -- A growing number of people have been hospitalized in
Iowa due to the effects of designer drugs K2 and "bath salts" in
recent months, a trend that may indicate more are using dangerous
"I've been the sheriff in Cherokee County for 14 years and this is the
worst that I've seen," said Sheriff Dave Scott.
Four people in Cherokee County, Iowa, last week became seriously ill
after ingesting what authorities believe were so-called bath salts, a
powdery substance often falsely marketed as a legal alternative to
[continues 754 words]
With the Vermont governor's signing of a bill this month to legalize
medical marijuana, eight states have now approved the sale and use of
marijuana for medical purposes. But today in Iowa, a person who is
found to possess even small amounts of marijuana that they might use
for bona fide medical problems is subject to arrest and time in jail
- -- not to mention the costly legal expense to hire an attorney, take
time off from work and possible jeopardy to a career.
[continues 614 words]
The war on drugs has failed. It's time to legalize marijuana,
decriminalize other drugs, and implement science-based policies
instead of fear-mongering.
These are not the words of drug-reform advocates, but those of the
Global Commission on Drug Policy, a 19-member panel made up of
high-profile international experts. The panel's June 2 report declared
the war on drugs a failure in no uncertain terms.
If the drug war was supposed to accomplish anything, it was to
decrease the consumption of drugs and limit access to them. Quite the
opposite has happened.
[continues 463 words]
Regarding your April 13 editorial, drugs did not spawn Mexico's
organized crime networks. Just like alcohol prohibition gave rise to
Al Capone, drug prohibition created the violent drug-trafficking
organizations behind all the killings in Mexico.
With alcohol prohibition repealed in the United States, liquor
bootleggers no longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings. It's
worth noting that Mexico's upsurge in violence only began after an
anti-drug crackdown created a power vacuum among competing cartels.
[continues 105 words]