Iowans for Medical Marijuana
Post Office Box 4091 * Des Moines, Iowa 50333 * 515-288-5798


August 28, 1996

Clerk of the Court
Black Hawk County District Court
316 East 5th Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50703

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


To the Iowa District Court:

        This letter is a plea for mercy and leniency.  Allen Helmers does not deserve to go to prison.  He is a medical patient with a legitimate need for medical marijuana.  I have attached a letter from his doctor which clearly shows that marijuana is a medical necessity for Allen Helmers.

        The matter of marijuana as a medical necessity is one which has been previously considered by a sister court, the Pottawattamie County District Court, in the case of State of Iowa v. Jan Rene Pleas, No. 22690, June 16, 1994. I have attached a copy of that decision.  I ask that this court take judicial notice of the Pleas decision.

        The elements of the medical necessity defense were clearly laid out by the First District Court of Appeal of Florida, in Jenks v. State, 582 So.2d 676 (Fla.App. 1 Dist. 1991), affirmed by the Florida Supreme Court at 589 So.2d 292 (Fla. 1991):

        1.  That the defendant did not intentionally bring about the circumstances which precipitated the unlawful act;

        2.  That the defendant could not accomplish the same objective using a less offensive alternative available to the defendant; and

        3.  That the evil sought to be avoided was more heinous than the unlawful act perpetrated to avoid it.

Id. 582 So.2d at 679 (citing, U.S. v. Randall, 104 Daily Wash.L.Rep. 2249 (Super.Ct.D.C. Nov. 24, 1976) and State v. Musikka, 14 F.L.W. 1 (Fla. 17th Cir.Ct. Dec. 28, 1988)).  Both Randall and Musikka presently receive marijuana from the federal government for the treatment of glaucoma.

        It is clear from the attached letter from Allen Helmers' doctor that he easily satifies the elements of the medical necessity defense. Although a probation revocation hearing is not a criminal trial, it would be absurd to think that a valid defense in a criminal trial would not be equally valid in a probation revocation hearing, and I plead with the court to so find in this case.

        As the administrative law judge said in The Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling, DEA Docket No. 86-22, Sept. 6, 1988, at pages 58 and 59, comparing marijuana to convention medications, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."  Allen Helmers should not be forced to take toxic poisonous chemicals for the rest of his life, when a natural healing herb is available and legal according to the defense of medical necessity.

        If this court would like a copy of the administrative law judge's ruling in DEA Docket No. 86-22, please let me know and I will provide one for the court at no cost to the state.  I was one of the parties to that administrative action.

        Thank you very much for considering this matter.


        Carl E. Olsen