I went to today’s Senate Human Resources Subcommittee hearing. Two of the three subcommittee members hosted the hearing.
Ray Lakers, Jeff Elton, and Jimmy Morrison spoke, as well as Dr. Alan Koslow. Dr. Koslow was questioned by Senator Bolkcom a few times and was by far the most influential speaker in terms of time alloted. Ray spoke of the MS patients who testified at the Board of Pharmacy hearings in 2009, as well as the elderly. He counted veterans from nearly every major war in the past 70 years among those who spoke in support. Jeff spoke of “Patients Out of Time” in Iowa, and informed the Senators that he was leaving for Colorado in November. Jimmy spoke of the persecution he’s faced at the hands of law enforcement, as well as what this bill means to Iowans seeking protection from arrest.
After Jimmy (and another gentleman whom I did not meet) spoke, I gave a quick speech about my involvement. I talked briefly about my past advocacy and history with probation, and asked that the bill be moved on to the Subcommittee.
Interesting point of gossip: After I finished speaking and returned to my seat, I noticed a gentleman sitting in the seat next to mine. I did not get a good look at his face, but his body language was hostile and aggressive. I shifted away from him uncomfortably, but continued looking forward. He left before I got a good look at him. Turns out he was none other than the infamous Clel Baudler .
At the end of the hearing, Senator Bolkcom said a few words. ”Testimony today reinforces that this is a medical issue, not recreational…we will pass on legislation that will…keep this issue going…I think research and testimony today tells us marijuana can provide relief…A majority of Iowans would like us to move forward with this.” ”I’m concerned that the people of Iowa are ahead of the legislature on this issue…Like any issue, there’s a period of time where lots of education needs to happen back home.”
So there you have it. It appears that the bill will move on to the Committee. The majority of Iowans are expecting the legislature to act, and while the legislature moves slowly, they’re willing to look at this further. In the meantime, Iowan activists need to help spread information and educate the “people back home.” Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana will continue to do this as we continue to advocate for medical marijuana here in the heartland.
Further information to come. Have a good one.