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Fear often trumps common sense with drug policies

The reality? Parents attempting to legally obtain cannabis oil extract for their children who suffer epileptic seizures. The image in the legislature? Drugged crazed teenagers running amuck as if from a lurid scene in "Reefer Madness."

While the Iowa legislature made a feeble effort last session to change this perspective, they only were partly effective. No one in Iowa has received a medical marijuana card from the state health department that allows legal possession of cannabis oil extract. The extract, according to the editorial board of the Quad Cities Times has no intoxicating effect, but transport and sale of this material is illegal. 

These parents and other adults who need medical marijuana must await additional action by the legislature to enable them to obtain this extract legally, or they must risk the possible disaster of being charged with drug crime.

Marijuana does possess profoundly powerful characteristic. By naming a non-intoxicating cannabis extract, "medical marijuana" otherwise rational legislators apparently become unhinged, fearful of that a "gateway" drug will lead these innocent parents down the road to reefer madness.

This is ridiculous, and it is time to end this type of foolishness by supposedly serious legislators. A parent in Iowa City buying cannabis extract for their epileptic child is in no danger of becoming the next Pablo Escobar.

And few parents are willing to risk being charged with a drug crime merely because they want to help alleviate the suffering of their child. Substance abuse is a significant problem in Iowa, but the legal drug alcohol currently presents a much greater threat to public safety than the medical marijuana will likely ever possess.

Qctimes.com, "Iowans still seek relief," Times Editorial Board, January 8, 2015

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