Congressman Young Betrays Iowans

Today, I was told that U.S. Representative David Young is co-sponsoring federal legislation, H.R. 2920, that he has now been notified creates a direct, positive conflict with our state law.

H.R. 2920 was written by U.S. Representative Steve Cohen who represents the state of Tennessee.

Last year, on July 6, 2016, Congressman Young co-sponsored Congressman Cohen’s federal legislation, H.R. 1538, that defined ‘cannabidiol’ as the substance cannabidiol, as derived from marihuana or the synthetic formulation, that contains not greater than 0.3 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis, H.R. 1538 § 4(2).

H.R. 1538 further authorized the Attorney General of the United States to determine whether State law authorizing the cultivation and manufacture of marijuana to make cannabidiol is reasonably calculated to comply with the new federal definition of cannabidiol, H.R. 1538 § 5.

In 2016, 2014 Iowa Acts, Chapter 1125 (S.F. 2360) allowed the possession only of cannabidiol, defined as a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica or any other preparation thereof that is essentially free from plant material, and has a tetrahydrocannabinol level of no more than three percent, Iowa Code § 124D.2(1) (2016).

Because Iowa law did not authorize the cultivation or manufacture of marijuana to make cannabidiol in 2016, H.R. 1538 did not create a direct, positive conflict with our state law.

However, in 2017, 2017 Iowa Acts, Chapter 162 (H.F. 524) allowed the cultivation and manufacture of marijuana to make cannabidiol in Iowa, and changed the definition of cannabidiol to any pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica or any other preparation thereof that has a tetrahydrocannabinol level of no more than three percent, Iowa Code § 124E.2(6) (2017).

Please note the 2014 Iowa law defined cannabidiol as “a” cannabinoid (singular) and the 2017 Iowa law defines cannabidiol as “any” cannabinoid (plural).

The 2017 act became law on May 12, 2017.  Congressman Young co-sponsored H.R. 2920 on September 11, 2017, adopting Congressman Cohen’s definition of cannabidiol and creating a conflict with our state law rather than defending us.

Like a lot of other states, Iowa is not waiting around for the federal government to figure this out.  The federal government has been foot dragging and stone walling on this issue for decades.

When I asked Congressman Young to explain, his staff said they have contacted Congressman Cohen and Congressman Cohen’s staff did not know why that definition of cannabidiol is in his bill and why it gives the U.S. Attorney General any say in the matter.  According to Congressman Young’s staff, Congressman Cohen’s staff said it was put there at the request of U.S. Senator Kristin Gillibrand who represents the state of New York.

This is insane!  Congressman Young is not defending us.

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