Paul Peterson for Medical Marijuana in Iowa

Storm Lake Man Wants Change In Drug Policies

Posted: // Oct 26, 2009 10:13 PM

Updated: // Nov 2, 2009 08:27 AM



What’s in your medicine cabinet? Aspirin, Pepto Bismol, Marijuana?

A storm lake man is trying to make that happen once again.

Tomorrow morning at the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors meeting, Paul Peterson has something he wants to say.

It will be his third time asking for change, and he’s hoping this time will be the charm.

The first time someone is caught with pot in Iowa, they could face up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Everytime after, the jail time and fines go up, but Paul Peterson is hoping to change that.

“I will be appearing in front of the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors again, for the third or fourth time to ask them to enact a valid prosecutorial discretion policy themselves, in Iowa its called the home-rule power.” Says Peterson.

In other words, he want’s to loosen or lax the penalties for someone who is caught with a minor possession of marijuana.

It’s what he feels will pave the way to make it easier for someone to legally use the drug for medicinal purposes.

“Medical marijuana rights will never be taken seriously as long as there is a two tier citizen ring. If we decriminalize and downgrade the possession charge, then people are more willing to look at the medical rights.” Says Peterson.

But the question is, can the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors really do anything to change the law?

“The law is the law. We’re not going to ask our deputies or county attorney or anybody to not prosecute the law. Could things change? The only way things could change is if the law changes.” Says Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Paul Merten.

If the law changed and Iowa allowed medicinal use of marijuana, it would only be the 14th state to do so.

Peterson says even if going to the board doesn’t work, he has other plans.

Today he announced his campaign to run against Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley to bring change to the states medical marijuana policies.

Senator Grassley sees marijuana as a “gateway” drug and believes policies shouldn’t change.




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