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Thanks to the Quad-City Times Editorial Board for their Jan. 6 editorial, "Iowa should fix medical marijuana law." Yes, the current law is antiquated and provides minimal access to patients who do meet the list of qualifying conditions and no hope for those who don’t. This is a quality of life issue for patients and their families who could receive relief from their pain and suffering.

The current 3 percent cap does not even meet the standard for therapeutic dosing, forcing patients to purchase more in order to experience the benefit. Marijuana was part of the American pharmacopoeia until 1942. Regarding efficacy, in a new landmark study published by the peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Review, 92 percent of participants reported that "medical marijuana helped alleviate symptoms or treat a serious medical condition," a far better result than most traditional drugs receive.

Iowa also has very harsh marijuana laws. First-offense possession of a single joint is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, one of the harshest in the country. These penalties hit low-income and communities of color the hardest. According to the ACLU, despite equal usage rates, blacks in Iowa are almost eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana prohibition than whites. This is completely unacceptable.

Learn more at the Progressive Action for the Common Good Drug Policy Public Educational forum on Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to noon, at St. Ambrose University's Rogalski Center. Get involved to make a difference: and find us on Facebook.

Caroline Vernon


Forum Facilitator

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