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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