September 5, 1996

Black Hawk County District Court
316 East 5th Street
Waterloo, IA 50703

Re:  State of Iowa v. Helmers, Allen Douglass PIN #483567994 Case No. FECR047575

To Whom It May Concern

I am writing to plead for mercy in the case of Allen Helmers listed above.

How can any of you morally justify your actions when considering the facts in this case?  To send a disabled man to prison for smoking marijuana for pain (his doctor advises him that it is the best and safest way for him to manage his pain), and at the same time allowing an uninsured drunk motorist to go free (7 days in jail and 18 months probation)!

Seriously ill people who use marijuana as medicine should not be arrested and required to prove their medical necessity in a criminal trial. Seriously ill patients should have their claims heard by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners or some other qualified board.  If a seriously ill patient has a legitimate medical necessity, that patient should be certified and be exempted from criminal prosecution by the state of Iowa.

Iowa recognizes the defense of "medical necessity" to prosecution for the possession of marijuana in the state of Iowa.  State of Iowa v. Jan Pleas, No. 22690, Pottawattamie District Court (June 16, 1994).  Iowa law recognizes the therapeutic value of marijuana.  Iowa Code 124.206(7)(a).

Please refer to the enclosed documents.

Thank you.

Denise Casella
626 Baltimore
Waterloo, Iowa 50702