Waterloo group discusses future of medical marijuana - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo group discusses future of medical marijuana

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Some community members met in Waterloo Tuesday to discuss the future of medical marijuana in the state, but the Iowa drug czar said he doesn't support it.

For Allen Hays, the argument to legalize medical marijuana is simple.

"People need to understand that just because a few people may abuse the drug doesn't mean that it shouldn't be available for legitimate medical purposes," said Hays

Hays is with a group called Cedar Valley Citizens for Undoing Racism War on Drugs Task Force.

But the Iowa drug czar said he doesn't support medical use, because of other problems it creates by getting into the wrong hands.

"One of our biggest concerns is what this means for young people," said Steve Lukan, Director of the Iowa Governor's Office of Drug Control. "Every state that has gone down this road has actually seen a higher percentage of young people who experiment with marijuana, who become users and become addicted."

Lukan said he's worried about the drug making it onto the black market.

Hays said that while the medicinal discussion is important, they think it's also important to legalize the drug in general.

They think the ongoing war on drugs is unfairly targeting minorities.

"The people that are being imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses are disparately people of color," he said.

But Lukan said he doesn't think minor drug offenses are the problem.

"We put very few people in jail every every year for simple marijuana possession," he said. "You have to work pretty hard today to work your way into jail."

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