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Welcome to Iowa, land of entrapment

Carl Olsen is the founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana.

If you have travel plans this summer, you might want to consider a route that avoids Iowa.  Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court denied protection for an out-of-state medical marijuana patient.

William Morris covered the ruling for the Des Moines Register, and Paul Brennan wrote about it at Little Village.

After reading the 4-3 majority opinion in State v. Middlekauff, I felt something seemed amiss. 

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What's wrong with medical marijuana?

Carl Olsen is the founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana.

Therapeutic use of marijuana stretches back centuries, but the popularity of its modern use appears to have begun with the discovery of the THC molecule. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis and one of at least 113 total cannabinoids identified on the plant. THC was first discovered and isolated by Bulgarian-born chemist Raphael Mechoulam in Israel in 1964. 

On May 13, 1986, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) transferred the synthetic form of THC from schedule I to schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). On July 1, 1999, the DEA transferred this synthetic form of THC from schedule II to schedule III of the CSA.  Federal Register: Vol. 64, No. 127, Friday, July 2, 1999.

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My effort to allow religious use of marijuana extracts in Iowa

Carl Olsen is the founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana.

In October, I asked the Polk County District Court to declare religious use as a qualifying condition for participation in the state’s marijuana extract program, Iowa Code Chapter 124E.

On November 23, 2021, the state filed a Motion to Dismiss my Petition for Declaratory Judgment. The state said it had sovereign immunity and cannot be sued.

On November 24, 2021, I filed an application with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for access to the program.

The state made three other arguments in its motion to dismiss:

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Federal government can fix cannabis scheduling problem without new law

Carl Olsen sent the letter enclosed below to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. -promoted by Laura Belin

Cannabis_Reform@finance.senate.gov

Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act
GAI21675 4LN Discussion Draft S.L.C.

Modern state, national, and international drug laws were designed to be flexible.  Instead of statutory classification of drugs, classification is an administrative process called scheduling.  The scheduling of drugs can be adjusted by administrative processes without the need for further legislation or renegotiated international treaties.

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Update on efforts to obtain a federal cannabis exemption for Iowa

Carl Olsen is the founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana. promoted by Laura Belin

In February 2019, I asked the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board, which regulates our state’s medical cannabis program, if there was anything we could be doing about federal drug law, such as obtaining a federal exemption (21 C.F.R. § 1307.03) like the one that currently exists for another federal Schedule I controlled substance, peyote (21 C.F.R. § 1307.31).

In August 2019, at my request, the board recommended that the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) obtain a federal exemption for cannabis. However, the department refused, saying none of the other 46 states that have enacted medical cannabis laws have requested federal exemptions, and that Iowans were not being injured by the federal criminalization of cannabis.

Keep in mind that patients had been testifying before the board about discrimination in schools and health care facilities because of the federal criminalization of cannabis. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller signed a September 2019 bipartisan letter from attorneys general saying the current federal policy “poses a serious threat to public safety.”

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States must apply for federal exemption when authorizing use of cannabis

Carl Olsen is the founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana. -promoted by Laura Belin

Don’t be fooled by quasi-legal schemes to tax and regulate cannabis. There is a federal solution for doing this the right way.

If legislators tell you it makes their eyes glass over, tell them to leave the capitol and don’t come back until they are sober. They should not be legislating unless they can clearly see the road ahead.

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