Congressional Candidates 2018

April 28, 2018

Dear Can­di­dates for the Third Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict of Iowa,

Some can­di­dates, includ­ing David Young, are sup­port­ing state med­ical mar­i­jua­na pro­grams.  How­ev­er, despite the fact that 46 states now have such pro­grams, there still exists a lack of clar­i­ty on whether cur­rent­ly exist­ing fed­er­al law pro­hibits them.

Fed­er­al­ism means that unless Con­gress pre­empts a state law, then that state law pre­vails.

On the ques­tion of the accept­ed med­ical use of con­trolled sub­stances in the states, fed­er­al courts have found that Con­gress has not defined the term “accept­ed med­ical use.”  See Alliance for Cannabis Ther­a­peu­tics v. DEA, 930 F.2d 936, 939 (D.C. Cir. 1991).

The U.S. Supreme Court has inter­pret­ed the term “accept­ed” to mean what­ev­er the state law says it means.  See Gon­za­les v. Ore­gon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006).

Fed­er­al courts have also found that Con­gress did not intend the term “accept­ed med­ical use in treat­ment in the Unit­ed States” to require a find­ing of rec­og­nized med­ical use in every state.  See Grin­spoon v. Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion, 828 F.3d 881, 886 (1st Cir. 1987).

Nev­er­the­less, con­fu­sion still exists and sev­er­al bills have been filed in Con­gress to clar­i­fy the mat­ter.  David Young, for exam­ple, is a co-spon­sor of the CARERS Act of 2017, H.F. 2920 (115th Con­gress), and David Young was also a co-spon­sor of the CARERS Act of 2015, H.R. 1538 (114th Con­gress).

The prob­lem with the CARERS Act is that it defines “cannabid­i­ol” as three tenths of one per­cent (.3%) “tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol” (THC).  In 2017, Iowa enact­ed the Med­ical Cannabid­i­ol Act of 2017, H.F. 524 (Acts Chap­ter 162, 87th Gen­er­al Assem­bly, 1st Ses­sion), which defines “cannabid­i­ol” as three per­cent (3%) THC.  Cannabid­i­ol (CBD) does not con­tain any THC.

It is plants and prepa­ra­tions that are being addressed.  Hemp, for exam­ple, is defined as three tenths of one per­cent (.3%) THC by dry weight, 7 U.S.C. § 5940(b)(2) (2017).  Iowa defines “cannabid­i­ol” as prod­ucts that are three per­cent (3%) THC by vol­ume.

We now have a con­flict between our state law and the CARERS Act of 2017.  I’ve point­ed this out to David Young and asked him to with­draw his sup­port for the CARERS Act of 2017.  I’ve also asked him to add his sup­port to the Respect State Mar­i­jua­na Laws Act of 2017, H.R. 975 (115th Con­gress), as Rob Blum is doing for the First Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict of Iowa.

I’m won­der­ing where you stand on this issue.

I look for­ward anx­ious­ly for your response.

Thank you!

Carl Olsen

cc: David Young
PO Box 162
Van Meter, Iowa 50261

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One Response to Congressional Candidates 2018

  1. Carl Olsen says:

    Here’s the response from Eddie Mau­ro:

    Hi Carl –

    I would sup­port or devel­op leg­is­la­tion that removes the con­fu­sion and/or con­flict with respec­tive state laws and improves clar­i­ty for all states.  It is well found­ed that mar­i­jua­na has remark­able appli­ca­tions for med­ical pur­pos­es; reliev­ing pain, reduc­ing the effects of seizures, improv­ing the lives of peo­ple using chemo ther­a­py or radi­a­tion to bat­tle can­cers and many oth­er pur­pos­es and for oth­er chron­ic sit­u­a­tions that impacts thou­sands of Amer­i­cans.

    I would also sup­port the decrim­i­nal­iza­tion of mar­i­jua­na as a whole in the Unit­ed States and would respect states that decide to allow for oth­er uses of mar­i­jua­na beyond med­ical pur­pos­es.

    Let me know if you have fur­ther ques­tions or need clar­i­fi­ca­tion on this.

    Kind regards,

    Eddie J. Mau­ro


    P.O. BOX 21099 — DES MOINES, IA 50321

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