2013 session adjourns; medical marijuana legislation still pending
The first year of the 2013-2014 Iowa legislative session has adjourned. Legislation introduced in 2013 will carry over to next year, meaning HF 22 and SF 79, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Hunter (D — Des Moines) and Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D — Iowa City), can be picked up in 2014. This sensible legislation would exempt patients in Iowa suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, severe pain and nausea, and other ailments from arrest and prosecution for using marijuana under their physicians’ recommendations. Patients or their caregivers would be able to grow their medicine or they could obtain it from a nonprofit dispensary.
Please email your legislators, asking them to support medical marijuana. It’s time Iowa join the 20 states (and Washington, D.C.) that exempt medical use of marijuana from criminal law. It’s time to stop treating the seriously ill in Iowa like criminals!
Unfortunately, this also means that SSB 1045, introduced by Gov. Terry Branstad (through the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy), will remain active as well. This proposal ignores all that science has to tell us about medical marijuana by stripping the power of the pharmacy board to allow medical use of marijuana if they deem it appropriate.
Make sure to sign up for MPP’s free state specific alerts to stay up-to-date on the progress of these bills.
2010 Board of Pharmacy Ruling
In 2009-2010, MPP worked with Carl Olsen and Iowa Patients to lobby the Board of Pharmacy. Thank you to all who participated! You can watch the testimony here. On February 17, 2010, the Board of Pharmacy voted 6-0 to recognize marijuana’s medical value and to recommend that the legislature reschedule marijuana to only Schedule II. The public also supports medical marijuana. A February 2010 Seltzer & Co. Iowa poll found that 64% of Iowans support patient use of medical marijuana with a doctor's approval!
Are you a patient?
If you are supportive and are a medical professional, a seriously ill patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, a law enforcement official, a clergy member, or a member of the legal community, or you know someone else that is, please email email@example.com to see how you can be of special help. Please include your address or nine-digit ZIP code.
Learn more about Iowa’s marijuana laws
Iowa has harsh marijuana laws and arrested more than 6,600 people for marijuana offenses in 2010. First-offense possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, one of the most severe first offense penalties in the country. Unfortunately, these draconian penalties hit minority and low-income communities the hardest. According to the ACLU, blacks in Iowa are almost eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana prohibition than whites. Please ask your legislators to end marijuana prohibition now!
You can learn more about Iowa’s marijuana penalties and enforcement by reading this report by economist Jon Gettman, Ph.D.
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