Transcript of Jacqueline Patterson’s testimony available on pages 102-106 of the 2009 Des Moines medical cannabis hearing.
I moved to – I moved to Iowa following a really brutal rape when I was – it was right after I turned 19.
And I came up here because of the community – because of the community values I had seen while – while traveling with friends. I had a – I had a one-year-old son who was asleep in – who was asleep in the next – next – in the next – in the next – in the next room.
During the – during the – during the — during the attack, I was so afraid for him because there was nothing I could do to – to save him, so that’s – that’s the reason I moved here, was to keep him safe.
In the – in the – in the two weeks following the attack, cannabis was crucial to my – to my existence. It really allowed me the emotional distance that I needed to deal with the trauma that I had just – that I had just gone through.
But it is not legal here, and it wasn’t legal in Kansas City, so I quit – so once I thought that I was ready to move on, I quit – I quit smoking cannabis. I began attending school at North Iowa Area Community College in 1998, and I was – I – I was quite determined to find a — to find a causation of rape and to eradicate the – and to eradicate the problem so that no woman would have to suffer what I went through.
I know now it’s not quite that – I know now it’s not quite that simple, but in – but in addition to being a valuable – a valuable tool for post-traumatic stress sufferers, cannabis can also help violent offenders modify their behavior by – by biologically reducing stress.
By now you guys have all heard me stutter. I’ve got cerebral palsy which – which manifests itself most visibly in my – in my –in my stutter. I was made – I was made fun of by – by my peers all throughout school.
I was – I was – I was banned from taking –from taking classes even in college at the University of Northern Iowa. I was told that I could not speak in class because – because it takes me too long.
And I used cannabis briefly while I was in high school, and I noticed that it helped me, but it wasn’t worth the legal risks, especially being a juvenile. So I quit using it until I met – until I met my husband who is a post-traumatic stress survivor whose life was so inarguably enhanced by cannabis that I could no longer deny its medical – its medical value.
We had two children at the time, and I decided that I could not teach my children to – to break a law that they were not going to try to fix, and I – I began lobbying for the rights of medical cannabis patients in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa.
In October of 2007, I was arrested here for medical cannabis – for medical cannabis – for medical cannabis possession. It actually says that on my – on my – on my conviction.
I was living in Missouri at the time and had just received a Section 8 voucher that – that was – that was – that was – that was voided unless I moved out to California because I was arrested for medical cannabis. We spent three – I’ve lived in California for two and – and a half years.
I’m – I’m the president of my children’s school site council, and I’ve – I can – I can speak well enough to be – to be understood and really get things – and really get things – and really get things done.
I know that you guys have questions like how do we keep medical cannabis away – away from children and those who may abuse it? And who will be responsible for control of this controversial – of this controversial plant, and is medical cannabis truly – truly necessary? Yes, it is, and I think that the – that the most beneficial way to legitimize therapeutic – therapeutic – therapeutic –therapeutic cannabis is – is – is to charge the Department of Social Services and a research university such as the University of Iowa jointly with the task of creating – of creating a – of creating a cultivation and dispensary model.
I think that though there are many corrupt medical cannabis dispensaries in California, there are a few that have developed really wonderful models. A physician that you guys heard from mentioned the Harborside Health Center. He said that they – that they test their medicine.
They also offer complimentary patient services such as – such as – such as yoga and – and hypnotherapy, and you can – and they would be more than happy to share their model with you.