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GOP Senator Promises To Press DEA About Medical Marijuana Exemption For His State

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By: Kyle Jaeger 


Iowa officials have been seeking a federal exemption for their medical marijuana program—and a Republican senator representing the state recently told an activist that he will personally reach out to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about the issue.

Carl Olsen, a longtime cannabis reform advocate in the state, sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in July, thanking him for sponsoring bipartisan legislation meant to promote research into marijuana and noting that DEA has so far denied statutory exemptions for state cannabis laws despite having made an exception for peyote when used in religious ceremonies of the Native American Church.

"Iowa needs an exemption for cannabis just like the one the DEA currently maintains for peyote," the activist wrote to the senator.

Earlier this month, Grassley's office sent a response. While most of the August 6 letter focuses on the senator's marijuana research bill—which he said would "facilitate future legitimate medical research that can be done on CBD and marijuana that could lead to safe and effective drugs for patients"—he also addressed the exemption issue.


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