I spoke at the Des Moines Global Marijuana March 2011 this past Saturday, and wow, what a busy week it’s been! Since then, Maryland has passed a medical defense bill, and Delaware’s governor has made Delaware the 16th medical marijuana state! On top of that, exciting news from Washington…more on that later.
Here’s some highlights from the march:
Ray Lakers of NORML 515 hosted the event, and put in a lot of work to set it up. Lord Molta led a march from City hall to the Capitol before the rally.
Lynn Wedewer was one of the star speakers, and she had some major announcements to make. Lynnice sat down with me after her speech to talk about her history of using marijuana as an Iowan.
Lynnice is part of a University of Iowa cannabis cancer study. Back in 1979, while pregnant with her first daughter, Dr. John Reihnartson of Cedar Rapids approached her about a study that might help her fight her cancer. Because Lynn was allergic to chemotherapy (she had already had 39 treatments), he told her there was chance that this University of Iowa cannabis cancer study could help her. “To be honest with you, I was thinking he was crazy!” laughs Lynnice.
Dr. Reihnartson told Lynn to think about it, and she ended up deciding to participate in the experimental study. From what Lynn understands, the 1979 medical marijuana law was written into the Iowa Code in section 124.206(7)(a) specifically to grant her, and the other patients from the study, legal exemptions to smoke or eat marijuana. They could also use marijuana extracts such as oil.
So, two shorts weeks after the birth of her daughter in 1980, Lynn started smoking marijuana. She’s still alive today, and has been smoking marijuana — LEGALLY — ever since.
Since then, Lynn has had multiple rounds of cancer. Her most recent one left her with such large and painful tumors that, in December of 2010, her doctor advised her to double her prescription from one ounce to two ounces. Her tumors have shrank drastically ever since. See her website here for more information.
Iowa Clemency Project’s Mike Pesce, who hosts Green Central Station with Ray, spoke about some of the troubles of the legal system. Mike shared some advice about how to navigate legal troubles, and how the Iowa Clemency Project can help point people in the right direction.
Mike spoke about the momentum within the movement after the rally.
“Politicians are waiting for us and recognize this as a political opportunity. Times are changing.”
Carl Olsen of Iowans for Medical Marijuana recapped the history of the Board of Pharmacy’s efforts to reschedule marijuana, and his future plans. According to Carl, it’s time for a judicial review of the Legislature and Board of Pharmacy! “If people want to work with the Board of Legislature, that’s fine. I’m going after the courts, and I”ll be tied up busy doing that. That’s where I”ll be for the next year of two.”
I spoke for Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana and announced our first annual online conference and fundraiser. As soon as I was finished speaking, two anonymous donors from the crowd stepped forward and donated money to Iowa Patients!
Kurt Hanna, Treasurer for Minnesota NORML, spoke about his petition with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to reschedule marijuana. Kurt, an Iowan native, will be back in Des Moines next weekend at the Vaudeville Mews with his band, Neuralizer.
Jim Getman of Iowa NORML spoke about things activists can do, such as calling radio shows. He also informed the crowd about the Fully Informed Jurors Association and the importance of serving as a jury member. After he spoke, Jim handed over leadership of Iowa NORML to Steve Morrow. Steve hosts the Green Central Station show on Des Moines Amplified on Saturday evenings at 6 pm, and recently traveled to Denver for this year’s NORML conference.
Activist Bob Manke spoke out about the benefits of cannabis. “We can take marijuana, without the pesticides, insecticides…we don’t need that! We need marijuana in Iowa as Republicans, in order to be safe.”
By the way, the Libertarian Party of Iowa had their annual convention in Johnston at the same time. Steve Hoodjer’s Iowa Freedom Report has the details.
Since the rally, I”ve had a crazy busy week. Couple things I wanted to mention that I heard about. Apparently, Washington’s sympathetic Governor is not only wanting to reschedule marijuana out of schedule 1, but she wants to build a rescheduling coalition of sorts so that all sixteen medical marijuana states can recognize marijuana as medicine in the Controlled Substances Act! If you’ve been following this blog, you’d know why that kind of news excites me. I’ll look more into that later this week.
Oh, yeah, other cool news out of Washington: the cops want marijuana rescheduled too. Yep. That’s right. Hear Don Pierce of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) John Snaza – Thurston County Sheriff both suggest to the Washington State Legislature that Cannabis be removed from Schedule I at the state level. After they speak, a number of senators start talking about rescheduling Cannabis at the state level.
Watch what they have to say on YouTube. Thanks to Kurt Hanna for the link:
Did you catch that?
“We believe that we should begin immediately to have Cannabis rescheduled as a Schedule II drug”, says Don Pierce.
The cops are coming around, too! The momentum just keeps going, and going, and going…and not only that, there’s already a bill in Washington to reschedule marijuana out of Schedule I.