Loading

Medical Marijuana’s Great (And Odd) Midwest Test: Iowa

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director September 6, 2009

    Iowa, America’s breadbasket, home to liberal scion Tom Harkin and conservative contrarian Charles Grassley, is vetting the issue of medical marijuana politically like no other previous state has by conducting a series of public testimonies, convened by the Iowa Pharmacy Board (who was ordered by a Polk County judge to do so in April in response to lawsuits brought by medical marijuana patients in Iowa against the IPB).

    Two of the first four public hearings have already happened (August 19 in Des Moines and Sept. 2 in Mason City); the next hearings are:

    October 7 in Iowa City and November 4, Council Bluffs

    At the Mason City hearing on September 2, eight speakers, all but one in favor of medical marijuana law reforms, spoke out against the prohibition of medical marijuana in Iowa.

    Des Moines resident and multiple sclerosis patient Ray Lakers, 42, who was jailed for possessing less than a gram of medical marijuana in 2005, spoke of medical marijuana’s utility and benefit to his life. Conversely, Maedene Sappenfield of Mason City spoke out against it in the Globe Gazette, “I have a son-in-law in North Carolina who has MS and he functions without marijuana very well, so it is possible.”

    Watch news video of the Mason City hearing here.

    The IPB does not have the authority to legalize marijuana for medical use, but it could suggest to lawmakers to move marijuana to a schedule lower than I. In turn, Iowa lawmakers would have to pass amending legislation. An AP article indicates an interesting legislative challenge (some would say ‘poison pill’): “the [IPB] said that the drug [marijuana] would have to be used as treatment in all states for Iowa to reclassify it.”

    Keep up with the legal and legislative struggle to bring medical marijuana to Iowa at: http://blog.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/

    175 Responses to “Medical Marijuana’s Great (And Odd) Midwest Test: Iowa”

    1. Thanks for the report……and putting us back on the map…

    2. Norman Lepoff, M.D. ret. says:

      I could function without my blood pressure or cholesterol pills. Does this mean there is no reason for them to be available? Maedene Sappenfield, and others like her, are selfish and ignorant.

    3. We had over 30+ speak in support and 2 detractors who had a different point of view afterwords. The first accoutn of 8 was based on # of speakers at lunch per registration #. I was #13 at 1:45 pm. Five people pre-registered for times also.

    4. As far as she knows, her son-in-law doesn’t use medical marijuana. As far as she knows.

    5. click medical marijuana forum to left for video-

      http://www.kimt.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=4205@kimt.dayport.com&navCatId=3

      http://kaaltv.com/article/stories/S1119184.shtml?cat=10219

      Should Medical Marijuana be Legal in Iowa
      (ABC 6 NEWS) — Should marijuana be legal for use to relieve the pain from some medical conditions?

      That’s the center of a debate-taking place right now in Iowa today.

      “There’s a lot of people suffering from chronic pain,” said Chris Young who is in a wheelchair.

      “It’s a constant pain in the right side of my body,” says Ray Lakers.

      Lakers and Young both suffer from pain.

      Lakers has Multiple Sclerosis and Young broke his back in a diving accident.

      They’re just two of more than a dozen who shared their medical marijuana success stories with the Iowa Pharmacy Board on Wednesday.

      Both Lakers and Young say marijuana works better than pharmaceutical drugs.

      “The relief it provided me was nowhere in comparison to relief and the benefit from using marijuana,” says Lakers.

      “To tell you the truth, marijuana is far more effective and has far less side effects than those medications,” says Young.

    6. Joseph "Ironman" Siler says:

      Maedene i’m glad your son in law functions very well without using cannabis, I only hope that the drugs that he is using are not slowly killing him. Have you read the side affects of the drugs he is taking? Let us look at the side affects of cannabis. #1 An extreme feeling of happiness, and well being. #2 An increased appetite. Just what are the side affects of the usual drugs given for MS? I know a man with MS, he said the drugs given to him by the Drs pretty much turned him into a zombie. Then he tried cannabis, well lets just say he certainly didn’t look, or act like a zombie when I met him.

    7. Lea says:

      If I sound stupid forgive me however, this is good news really. A Polk County judge made it happen after lawsuits – that sounds good to me. People are doing the right thing and keeping the issue in the faces of the nay-sayers.
      Click on the news video and listen please.
      Way to go to the two men in the video who spoke.

      There’s times I get so discouraged over the delay of Decrim and Legalize issues but this brings me back to center and gives me a glimmer of hope.

    8. musclecarfreak says:

      Look at these two quotes, the first in support of cannabis medicine and the second opposed:

      Des Moines resident and multiple sclerosis patient Ray Layers, 42, who was jailed for possessing less than a gram of medical marijuana in 2005, spoke of medical marijuana’s utility and benefit to his life. Conversely, Maedene Sappenfield of Mason City spoke out against it in the Globe Gazette, “I have a son-in-law in North Carolina who has MS and he functions without marijuana very well, so it is possible.”
      Apparently it was necessary to discredit Ray by telling everyone he was “jailed for possessing less than a gram of medical marijuana” while Maedene (perhaps busted for something in her past) was protected from mentioning that. Of course I don’t know if she ever was but my point is that Ray’s arrest did not need to be mentioned. This could have some believe he is a criminal that should not be taken seriously. I’m just sayin’.
      So Maedene says “I have a son-in-law in North Carolina who has MS and he functions without marijuana very well, so it is possible.”

      It boggles my mind when prohibitionists reason in this way. Do they not realize this argument is invalid?

      How about this Maedene:

      My father lives in Southern California. He has 4 vertebrates fused in his lower neck and he functions very well without Oxycodone or Vicodin, so it is possible.

      So he prefers taking a less damaging over the counter pain killer and live with some pain. That just happens to be his choice. If he prefers that or using cannabis or whatever to alleviate his pain it is his choice. The same should be allowed for people that prefer cannabis to alleviate their ailments whatever condition they may have.

    9. James Crosby says:

      I just hope that Iowa does the right thing, and fast. The people of their state sorely need it.

    10. Joel: The other Joel says:

      I’d wish congress or the president review the Control Substance Act of 1970. It has becoming more of an excuse to say, “sorry”.

    Leave a Reply