For Immediate Release                                                                      Media Contact:

9/15/15                                                                                                Maria La France

                                                                                                            marialafrance@gmail.com  www.i4mc.org

  515-865-8887                         

                                                                       

On Tuesday, Sept 15 at the Iowa State Capitol, Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis (I4MC) introduced a medical cannabis Presidential Candidate Questionnaire that asks Presidential Candidates what they plan to do to help sick and suffering Americans access medical cannabis for their debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, epilepsy, MS, Crohn’s, PTSD, and ALS. The states that have medical cannabis programs in place account for about ¾ of the nation’s population, yet it is still illegal on a federal level and people in remaining states still have no access. I4MC asks how presidential candidates intend to fix the problem. 

Iowa is an important early stomping ground for candidates, and polls show 70% to 87% of Americans want access to medical cannabis. I4MC wants presidential candidates to make a distinction between medical cannabis and recreational use, as they are two separate issues. The questionnaire will be mailed and emailed to each presidential campaign office, and the subject will be requested at presidential debates. Maria La France, mother of a Quincy, age 14 who suffers from epilepsy, states, “Moms across America want to know what the nation’s elected leader plans to do to allow sick people access to life-saving cannabis.” Cannabis has been researched more than any FDA drug, and the side effects are well known. It can save lives and should be legal.

The Questionnaire asks four simple questions, namely, are sick people criminals for using cannabis if they choose? What are candidates proposed policy on medical cannabis? How will they propose removing penalties for people who risk criminalization for treating their ailment, as in Iowa’s CBD law which requires citizens to break federal law? And do candidates support the CARERS Act, which re-schedules cannabis so it can be studied and prescribed. 

Lori Tassin of Des Moines states, “As a cancer survivor, I want every treatment possible available and legal that might save or prolong life.” . People with qualifying medical conditions in 23 states plus DC have legal access to cannabis for medicinal use, nearly 80% of the population, yet it is still illegal on a federal level. Cannabis is currently listed in the DEA Schedule I in the Controlled Substances Act, a classification for no medicinal value and the highest punishment for use. Cannabis can be re-scheduled executively through the Attorney General's request or congressionally through laws enacted by Congress. Leaving such issue up to the states as some candidates have mentioned doesn’t resolve the federal illegality issue and is irresponsible.

Presidential candidates need a clear cut message about how they intend to fix one of our nation’s biggest injustices.  There is proposed legislation in Congress, The CARERS Act (S. 683), which in summary: transfers marijuana from schedule I to schedule II of the CSA, excludes "cannabidiol" from the definition of "marijuana" and defines it separately as the substance cannabidiol.  Presidents need to say whether they support that or will re-schedule cannabis through the Attorney General. And if they oppose it, they are against the wish of 80% of Americans.  The full questionnaire can be found here http://www.iowans4medicalcannabis.org/presidential-cannabis.

About Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis

Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis is a coalition of individuals and organization in favor of a safe and controlled medical cannabis program for qualifying debilitating health conditions. We are not associated with recreational use in any way. To date, members of our coalition include the Epilepsy Foundation of North/Central, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, the National MS Society, the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa, Community HIV Alliance, and the Easter Seals of Iowa.  More information can be found at: www.i4mc.org