I somehow missed this excellent article in the Iowa State Daily last year and think it’s worth highlighting as the first week of the Legislative session is now underway.
Here’s Iowa NORML legislative intern Phil Brown, (click here to apply for internships with Iowa NORML) writing about how breaking the law does not help to change the law here in Iowa:
“These state-by-state efforts are led by people who view the criminalization of marijuana and its users as wrong, and are willing to try to change it. In Iowa, we have such an effort of our own. Organizations like the Iowa chapter of Norml (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) are lobbying even now to change the views our legislators have regarding marijuana.
Such is the kind of change needed to enact any laws about medical marijuana, or to strike down current laws forbidding the sale, transport, cultivation or consumption of marijuana.
One thing that will never alter such current or potential laws, however, is the illegal use of marijuana. While every person’s decisions about what they do or what they put into their body are ultimately their own, simply breaking a law does nothing to change it.
History buffs may disagree, pointing back to times when segregationist laws were broken deliberately in protest, effectively bringing the nation’s attention to the ludicrousness of certain unjust laws. Those actions were, as opposed to simply breaking laws, a form of public protest that rebelled against a system which was both discriminatory and ideologically set.
The movement to reform marijuana laws is facing no such system, and has never come close to attracting the national attention that civil rights protests did in their time. While some lawmakers certainly oppose any and all changes to marijuana policy, the legal means to enact change have not yet been exhausted.
Since such means have not been exhausted, those who have an interest or who care about the issue have a duty to make their opinions and voices heard. This is absolutely essential to altering societal views about who supports marijuana reform.” —Read full Iowa State Daily article here
Phil, who does not smoke cannabis (emphasis added), is extremely passionate about this issue. A triple major at Iowa State, he writes for the Iowa State Daily while still managing to find time to do important research for lobbying efforts here in Iowa. Iowa NORML has been doing a great job ofbuilding support around the state. I’m glad to have them in Iowa, and am very optimistic about our chances to make waves this coming legislative session.
Follow WeedPress on Facebook. Later today I’ll have a guide to the Iowa Caucuses up. I’m introducing a medical cannabis resolution at my local caucus and am going to try and get elected as a delegate. Caucusing is a great way to meet party activists and talk about the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s ruling on medical cannabis.
Thanks for reading.