Chapter 124E is Poorly Written

Members of the subcommittee discuss HF 732 on April 1, 2019

Recently, Captain Marti Reilly of the Sioux City Police Department, a seasoned-law officer with years of experience investigating drug crimes said:

“Marijuana is an interesting drug, in the fact that the federal government says it’s illegal.  Being in law enforcement for more than 30 years.  They always said state laws can be more restrictive, but it can’t be less.  So, each state legalizing it is breaking federal law.”

The Potential Impact of Expanded Medical Marijuana, March 27, 2019, KWIT FM 90.3 / KOJI FM 90.7, Siouxland Public Media, Western Iowa Tech Community College, 4647 Stone Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106.

Compare this to what House Speaker Linda Upmeyer said in September of 2017 after Iowa Code Chapter 124E had been enacted:

“House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, noted in a statement that no matter what the Legislature had decided, the state still would have been in violation of federal law.”

AG tells agency to halt part of Iowa’s medical marijuana law, September 10, 2017, Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa.

And compare it to what State Representative John Forbes said in December of 2017 after Iowa Code Chapter 124E had been enacted:

“I mean, we are violating federal law with a cannabis bill here in the state of Iowa.”

Rep. John Forbes (D – Urbandale) and Gerd Clabaugh, December 22, 2017, Iowa Public Radio, Johnston, Iowa.

Introducing legislation at 3 a.m. on the last day of the session, passing it out of the House at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and out of the senate at 6 a.m. that morning, is not how careful, thoughtful legislation should be crafted.


Until 3 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2017, House File 524 was just a bill about prescription monitoring.  Around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning H-1461 was filed, changing the bill into a medical cannabidiol program.  At around 5:00 a.m. the amendment was passed in the House, and at around 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the amended bill passed in the Senate.

What’s Missing?

House File 732 needs an amendment to Iowa Code Chapter 124E that say:

“This chapter does not violate any federal law.”

What else?

“This chapter does not authorize the violation of any federal law.”

Please add the same amendment that was added to SF 501.

Please amend HF 732.

House File 732
1Amend File 732 as follows:
21.  Page 2, after line 18 by inserting:
3<Sec. ___.  NEW SECTION124E.20  Federal regulations not
5Notwithstanding any federal regulation to the contrary, the
6use of medical cannabidiol pursuant to this chapter is not
7subject to federal regulation.>
82.  By renumbering as necessary.

When Congress created the federal Controlled Substances Act in 1970, it gave a federal administrative agency the authority to remove marijuana from the act without any further action by Congress, 21 U.S.C. 811(a).  Congress also gave the administrative agency the authority to make exceptions to the act, which the agency has done for another federal Schedule 1 controlled substance, peyote, 21 C.F.R. 1307.31.

What Should Iowa Do?

Let the federal administrative agency know we are making an exception to the Controlled Substance Act for the medical use of marijuana!

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