I don’t know if you’rethinking about medical marijuana as an issue in the upcoming elections, but if you care about this issue (and polls show 70% of Americans do support the medical use of marijuana), Democrats deserve your vote.  When the issue of states’ rights to allow medical use of marijuana comes up in Congress (which it did in 2012, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2003) over 70% of Democrats voted for it and over 70% of Republicans voted against it.

When asked if he supported medical marijuana in 2008, President Obama said he did. President Obama also said he would be too busy with the war in Iraq and the Affordable Health Care Act to do anything about medical marijuana.  We’ve never had a President of the United States that has come out in favor of medical marijuana before.

In 2010, our own Iowa Board of Pharmacy (the branch of the Iowa Department of Public Health charged by the Iowa Legislature with evaluating controlled substances in Iowa) voted unanimously in favor of medical marijuana and recommended that Iowa legalize marijuana for medical use, followed soon after by the American Medical Association, the Iowa Medical Society, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and the Iowa Pharmacy Association.  So, Democrats have the support of medical professionals on this issue.

Here in Iowa, Senators Joe Bolkcom (D. Iowa City) and Jack Hatch (D. Des Moines) have consistently introduced bills in the Iowa Senate to have marijuana legalized for medical use and this year Representative Bruce Hunter (D. Des Moines) introduced identical legislation in the Iowa House.  What did Republicans do?  They introduced their own bill in opposition to the Iowa Department of Public Health bill.

Republicans have been as mean spirited on this issue as it gets and don’t deserve our support. Please vote for Democrats across the ticket this coming November.

By Carl Olsen