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