Marijuana Hearing Begins Today in Iowa City
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Marijuana Hearing Begins Today in Iowa City');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Marijuana Hearing Begins Today in Iowa City
Posted by CN Staff on October 07, 2009 at 07:09:43 PT
By Kevin Hoffman
Source: Daily Iowan
Iowa -- For five years, severe fibromyalgia symptoms kept Lisa Jackson bedridden. She couldn’t get up to cook her children a hot meal, and she could barely climb the 14 stairs to the second story of her home.But Jackson’s life improved two years ago when she began using marijuana, which the Crawfordsville, Iowa, resident says helps her function and get through the day. “Because of my use, I’m able to function,” she said. “I can take care of my daily needs and my children’s daily needs.”
Jackson is one of several witnesses set to testify today in a seven-hour medical marijuana hearing in Iowa City.The Iowa Board of Pharmacy will hear testimony ranging from medical experts to citizens beginning at noon in the Bowen Science Building third-floor auditorium.This is the third of four hearings held statewide since August. Nationally, 13 states have legalized medical marijuana since 1996; Michigan was the last to do so, in 2008.The most recent legal battle will unfold over the next few months, when the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa Foundation will again ask the Board of Pharmacy to remove marijuana’s Schedule-I classification. That designation indicates the drug carries a high risk for abuse and has no accepted medical use.Since 2008, the board has twice ruled against recommending reclassification.But ACLU member Carl Olsen, a petitioner in the case, argues that because 13 other states have accepted the drug for medicinal purposes, it fits the criteria of accepted medical use in the United States.“What we want is a functioning marijuana law in Iowa that allows people to get it for medical use,” he said.Lloyd Jessen, the executive director of the Pharmacy Board, would not comment on whether medical marijuana should be legalized, but said the panel lacked evidence to make an intelligent decision in previous hearings.ACLU officials said they will present scientific evidence to the board, which will make a decision after the final Nov. 4 hearing in Council Bluffs.Though the board cannot legalize medical marijuana, it can make a recommendation to state lawmakers, said Mike Meno, assistant director of communications with the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said he is in favor of legalization.“I’ve heard from many Iowans who suffer every day in chronic pain from debilitating conditions,” said Bolkcom, who plans to attend today’s hearing. “[They find] they would get some benefits and pain relief from those conditions if they had legal access to medical marijuana.”Many patients who suffer from chronic pain are prescribed powerful narcotics with adverse side effects, he noted.And Jackson knows firsthand of the problems associated with potent prescriptions.Before she began smoking marijuana, she tried “every kind of painkiller you can imagine.” She accidentally overdosed twice, at one point unknowingly overdosing for two weeks.“There was no way I would be able to manage prescription medication when it was not going to do the job,” Jackson said. “And I was afraid it was going to take my life.”But officials opposed to legalization said they’re concerned it’s an easy way for “addicts” to stay hooked.Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said he would support medical marijuana, but he is wary of the possible risk of abuse involved.Pulkrabek said California is a prime example of medical marijuana being abused for recreational purposes. He said if Iowa were to legalize it, state officials would need to implement stricter regulations than California’s.This year, 14 other states have considered enacting medical marijuana laws, including Illinois and Minnesota. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed the law on May 22; legislation is still pending in Illinois. UI students are split on the issue.“I think it’s looked at as taboo by a lot of people,” UI senior Adam Roquet said. “There are a lot of prescription drugs out there that are highly addictive, not taken seriously, and abused. Just because it’s not in a pill form doesn’t mean it’s not useful.”UI freshman Marc Thies disagrees.“I think people just find excuses to try to get their hands on it,” he said.Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)Author: Kevin HoffmanPublished: October 7, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Daily IowanContact: daily-iowan uiowa.eduWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #3 posted by RevRayGreen on October 07, 2009 at 19:23:45 PT
Great turnout today..thanx all
here are some news clips........ footage from today's ODD TEST PART III
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 07, 2009 at 07:18:33 PT
Good luck today!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 07, 2009 at 07:17:44 PT
Live Coverage: Iowa City Medical Marijuana Hearing
Time: 12:00PM CDT October 7, 2009URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment