Arizona medical marijuana card doesn’t allow woman to possess drug in Iowa, state Supreme Court rules

By William Morris  Des Moines Register

An Arizona woman’s medical marijuana card does not permit her to possess the drug in Iowa, even though she had to obtain a doctor’s authorization to have it, a divided Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The 4-3 decision leaves in place a conviction for marijuana possession, a serious misdemeanor, for Pamela Middlekauff, 55, and sets a precedent for other people arrested in Iowa for drug use or possession that might be legal in their state of residence. Chief Justice Susan Christensen wrote for the majority, while Justice Edward Mansfield wrote a dissent.

According to court filings, Middlekauff was stopped for speeding while driving through Warren County in December 2019, and the officer smelled marijuana in the car. Middlekauff, who has osteoarthritis and other painful musculoskeletal conditions, told the officer she had not been smoking but had “quite a bit of marijuana” and showed him the medical marijuana registry card she was given by the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2018.

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