When I first became aware of the passage of the cannabidiol bill in our legislature yesterday, I was immediately conflicted. I decided to give it time to digest before making a further statement. Before I had a chance to contemplate, we had an outpouring from members as well as people over social media that voiced their disapproval of the bill. Many people were depending on change. The house bill destroyed their hope for relief when they weren’t deemed worthy of receiving this medicine.  My heart ached hearing their stories. Many described in detail the level of pain they go through every single day. These are people that want to avoid highly addictive prescription opioids that kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. This isn’t just about having an ‘alternative’, it’s about making a rational choice about what to do with your own body.

To quote Harry Browne: “The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, ‘See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.” Government made this illegal. Government has charged and prosecuted sick and dying people with felonies for seeking their own medical treatment.  Government has protected the interests of pharmaceutical companies that manufacture drugs that are killing people. I will not be thankful that we were handed this crutch.

This last week we mobilized hundreds of compassionate individuals to aid in making sure significant change occurred with the original senate bill.  We were told that despite 90% of the Senate approving it, and 80% of public opinion supporting it, the bill was not passable and needed to be watered down.  We need your help to make sure things aren’t cut short again.  I ask anyone reading this to become an advocate for the suffering.  Break the etiquette where it’s ‘improper’ to talk about political issues. Change happens best in one-on-one personal connections from people you know and trust. Talk with your family, your friends, anyone willing to listen. We need an army of advocates winning hearts and minds over the next 8 months before the next session begins.  Expansion bills will be proposed and we need to respond with a coalition of organizations fighting for change with ten times the number of volunteers reaching out to their representatives.

No person should ever be put in the position of choosing between suffering and a prison cell.

James Schneider

Chairman- Libertarian Party of Iowa