Source: Storm Lake Pilot Tribune
An Iowa hemp activist is bringing his campaign for legalized hemp farming to Storm Lake next month. “I don’t want to do it by smoking a joint on the steps of the State Capital,” said Boris Shcharansky, proprietor of Heartland Hemp and spokesperson for the fledgling Iowa Hemp Association based in Urbandale.
Shcharansky calls his campaign “Cultivating Opportunity,” and hopes to meet with farmers, people interested in medicinal cannabidol oil extract, and even law enforcement in a town hall setting. The meeting will be August 23, with a site and time still to be determined.
He lobbied the legislature last session, and succeeded in getting nonpartisan bills proposed in each house to make it legal to cultivate hemp plants in Iowa, but the political leaders “dragged their feet” and the issue ultimately died, he said.
Shcharansky hopes interest from the public in places like Storm Lake will be more successful. “Education is the only answer,” he said.
He said he has seen the difference cannabidol, a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, can make in the lives of seriously ill people.
One Storm Lake man who encouraged him to bring one of his first meetings on the issue to this community, is also a believer. He said his became aware of the issue after his very young daughter suffered a seizure disorder, and the family had to search for medicinal relief.
“I about decided to move to Colorado to be able to access cannabidol, because it doesn’t have the side effects that the available drugs have,” the man said. The little girl has since become seizure-free and will not need the medication, but the father hopes the option becomes available for others in need.