ACLU Request to Intervene in Olsen v. Iowa

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hi Ana,

I hope your summer is going well. Last time we talked, I told you I anticipated the ACLU potentially getting involved on a marijuana case sometime this summer. I am now writing this letter to request assistance from the ACLU on two parts: one, that the ACLU litigate such a case against the state of Iowa; and two, that if unable to litigate the following case, that the ACLU do a legal analysis of the case so that I and other concerned citizens can fully understand the situation this case presents.

On June 6, 2011, Carl Olsen of Iowans for Medical Marijuana filed a lawsuit against the state of Iowa for failure to remove marijuana from Schedule I. I served the state with Mr. Olsen’s lawsuit. The case number is No. CV 8682, and the petition for declaratory judgment is demanding the court declare that marijuana no longer fits statutory criteria to be in Schedule I now that the Board of Pharmacy has ruled marijuana is medicine. The petition can be seen on my blog at https://weedpress.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/lawsuit-filed-against-state-of-iowa-yesterday-weed-all-about-it/.

Carl Olsen received help from the ACLU in his 2008 Board of Pharmacy petition, from what I understand. I’m not sure that case would would have had a favorable outcome had the ACLU not lent their support as I do not believe Mr. Olsen is fully qualified to litigate cases on his own. Carl is not a lawyer. If Carl is the sole litigator on this pro se petition, I fear that this argument will not be represented properly. If this happens, this case could end up hurting Iowa’s medical marijuana situation.

The ACLU’s success in the Board of Pharmacy case makes me believe that the ACLU has the capability to successfully represent Iowan’s best interests. I am not aware of another organization that is as familiar with the legal argument Mr. Olsen outlines in his petition as the ACLU.

Furthermore, since Mr. Olsen is not a lawyer nor individual in need of medical marijuana, I have questions about his standing to bring this argument before the court. I am aware that Iowa Patients Director Dr. Alan Koslow, Federal IND Patient George McMahon, and activist patients Ladd Huffman and Bob Manke have all had motions to intervene approved in this case. All of these documents can be seen at http://petition.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/Home/Court.

While I know why each of the intervenors has an interest in medical marijuana, I do not fully understand Mr. Olsen’s interest. As a concerned citizen activist, I am requesting the ACLU intervene in this case. If, however, the ACLU is unable to take over litigation, I would like to request a legal analysis so that myself, and other concerned citizens, can better understand this case.

From what I’ve been told, the state attorney will resist any motion to intervene that does not come from the ACLU. I believe the future of medical marijuana in Iowa is going to be greatly impacted by this case. If you’d like to speak with me, feel free to give me a call at 515-577-0235 or email me at jkarimi2007@hotmail.com. At this current time Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana, of which I am a Director, is not involved in this case. Our Board of Directors will discuss this issue and, if agreed upon, contact the ACLU with any inquiries if necessary.

Respectfully,

Jason Karimi

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