Guest Columnists

Facts about medical cannabis


I am a veteran who is very concerned about the 22 veterans that are taking their own lives in this country every day and I am very sad this fact is being brushed aside by Iowa legislators.

Cannabis is very helpful in treating PTSD and pain like (TBI) traumatic brain injury.

The Nation Magazine article, “The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal” explains how and why “Big Pharma” and others put so much money behind groups like “Drug Free America” to stop and condemn cannabis. I have heard legislators spout the same misinformation, almost verbatim.

States with medical cannabis programs have seen no increase in teen use. (See the March issue of International Journal on Drug Policy)

Look at “Epidiolex”. Here we have a company from England (UK) testing purified CBD on our kids and going through our FDA to make a drug to sell to us. The new appointee to head the FDA was a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry. This is why states have taken this on themselves and not waited for the federal government.

OxyContin just received FDA approval provide their drug to our kids. Prescription pain killers kill more people than all illegal street drugs combined. The U.S. uses 84 percent of the world’s consumption of OxyContin. Veteran deaths from prescription overdoses is 50 percent higher than the public. Prescription pain killers lead our kids to use heroin. These are the people who want to stop cannabis, which is the safest painkiller ever found.

A fully funded, FDA approved study on cannabis to treat PTSD has been deadlocked in the system for three years. The “CARERS Act” has been held up by Sen. Chuck Grassley for more than a year. This bipartisan bill would allow medical cannabis to be researched and to be discussed by the VA with veterans and provided to veterans in states where it is legal.

Our group “Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis” come from all political parties. We do not allow recreational cannabis supporters in our group. We do not get any outside funds from “Big Marijuana”. We are self-funding and we only care about cannabis as a medicine — Period!


Iowa had a reasonable cannabis bill last year. It was modeled after Minnesota. All liquid (no smokable) cannabis. The House came up with a different bill this year but they cut it down to allow CBD oil, only, and only to treat three conditions, epilepsy, MS, and last year for cancer patients. The bill is basically useless.

Please call your local legislators and tell them to stop dithering, to stop throwing the lives of veterans away, and pass a comprehensive inclusive cannabis bill this year that includes PTSD and pain. Call Sen. Grassley and tell him to let the “CARERS Act” come up for a vote.

• Jon Custis, of Anamosa, worked for 24 years in corrections and law enforcement. More information:



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