From Covert to Controversy: Committing a Crime for the Greater Good?

Long time conservative Republican representative, Clel Baudler, from Greenfield, has found himself in a bit of hot water recently surrounding his "covert" purchase of medical marijuana in California this past October.

Representative Baudler, a former State Trooper and staunch "law and order" presence in the Iowa House of Representatives, decided to take it upon himself to demonstrate the potential dangers of legalizing medicinal marijuana in the State of Iowa. In doing so, he may have broken the law. According to the Des Moines Register story, Representative Baudler, who understandably "hates illegal drugs" went to California and lied about having hemorrhoids and depression, to obtain a prescription. His purpose was to "prove how asinine it would be to legalize medical marijuana."

While it can be argued to be a noble endeavor by Representative Baudler, the problem arises due to the fact that under California law, it is illegal for a person to fraudulently represent a medical condition to a doctor. Likewise, Iowa law prohibits a person from engaging in "fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge" to "obtain or attempt to obtain a prescription drug." See Iowa Code 155A.23. A violation of this law as it pertains to marijuana would be a Class D Felony in the State of Iowa, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. There is no legal defense for "lying to obtain a controlled substance to prove a point" either.

Since Representative Baudler has for all intents and purposes, proudly admitted to committing a crime (in the event that the doctor was indeed a doctor, which Mr. Baudler doubts), there are some that believe he should be impeached. The irony over all of this debate really has two layers. First, there has been a concerted effort to impeach the remaining Iowa Supreme Court Justices over the "gay marriage" ruling when that faction is unable to point to an alleged crime that the justices committed (a prerequisite to impeachment) but we have a conservative Republican member of the House of Representatives that openly admits to potentially committing a criminal offense without similar repercussions. Second, the face of "law and order" in the House of Representatives now finds himself potentially on the others side of the law for allegedly illegally purchasing the drugs he "hates" so much.