Gazette Daily News January 15

(File photo) The Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines, photographed on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gaze
(File photo) The Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines, photographed on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Friday, Jan. 15.

The two main things you need to know about Friday’s weather is that the high temperature will hover around freezing and the sky will be potentially spitting either rain or snow or both at random intervals, all day. According to the National Weather Service, the high and the low temperature Friday will be 32 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area, plus or minus a few degrees at any given time. After a chance for snow overnight, there may be a brief break from precipitation before more snow that gradually turns into freezing rain Friday night.

The Iowa National Guard plans to send 250 members to assist in security efforts in the nation’s capital during next week’s inauguration, the Iowa Guard’s leader said Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Ben Corell said the U.S. National Guard requested assistance from all U.S. states, territories and districts. Corell said the plan is for the 250 Iowa Guard members to travel to Washington, D.C., this weekend. Security efforts have increased ever since the Jan. 6 mob siege on the U.S. Capitol as supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump tried to stop Congress from certifying the results of last November’s election, which Trump lost.

Bills have started to make their debut in the Iowa legislature. Two of bills of note made some progress Thursday: one in the senate would reintroduce the death penalty in the state of Iowa for a limited range of crimes; the other, introduced in the house, would preemptively block the use of the “gay panic” justification for murder or other crimes used in other states.

Republicans on a Senate subcommittee on Thursday advanced legislation that would reinstate a limited death penalty for Iowans aged 18 or older who are convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering a minor. Despite several speakers who spoke about the systemic problems of the government executing a person for any reason, the bill passed 2-1 out of the  subcommittee for consideration of the full judiciary committee.

Less controversial was the bill banning the so-called gay panic defense that was introduced in the House. Although Iowa law does not allow for the justification of a crime due to sexual orientation, there have been cases in other states where the defense has argued for acquitment due to “diminished capacity” due to the accused becoming distraught over encountering someone of a different orientation or gender identity. As a result, several states have been moving to ban the use of this defense. The Judiciary subcommittee voted unanimously Thursday to move the bill to the full House Judiciary Committee.

Seven months after Iowa Relief closed its medical marijuana manufacturing facility in Cedar Rapids, the city is poised to get another manufacturer.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Dec. 22 issued a notice of intent to award a manufacturing license to ICC MFG Holdings LLC — the Iowa Cannabis Company — for a facility in Cedar Rapids.

Iowa Relief built a 5,000-square-foot marijuana growing and processing facility at 1420 26th Ave. Court SW in 2019, but then closed the plant and gave up its manufacturing license last spring.

It’s unclear whether Iowa Cannabis is interested in this site or is planning to make medical marijuana products elsewhere in the city.

The closure by Iowa Relief left Iowa with just one manufacturer of medical marijuana products — MedPharm Iowa in Des Moines — that are then sold to qualified patients in licensed dispensaries. Iowa’s medical marijuana industry has struggled to get off the ground, at least partially due to the state having some of the more restrictive marijuana laws in the country. 

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