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webeagleA Significant Moment On Scheduling

by Marty Ryan

A significant event occurred earlier last month, and the mainstream media missed it, completely.

On August 27, the Iowa Pharmacy Board met and heard a petition by Carl Olsen, a consistent advocate of medical marijuana in Iowa. Carl, a Des Moines resident, had the following statement:

My name is Carl Olsen. I would like the board to rec­om­mend the Iowa leg­is­la­ture remove mar­i­juana from Sched­ule 1. The code sec­tions are Iowa Code Chap­ter 124 Sec­tion 201 and 124.203. Under those sec­tions the board has the author­ity to rec­om­mend the leg­is­la­ture remove mar­i­juana from Sched­ule 1. I made this rec­om­men­da­tion last year. I made this rec­om­men­da­tion sev­eral times, this request. But, par­tic­u­larly last year I made this same request. At that time there were nine­teen (19) states that had legal­ized the med­ical use of mar­i­juana. As of today there are twenty-three (23). And as of this year another eleven (11) have enacted cannabis oil bills, like Iowa enacted this year, that require peo­ple to leave the state of Iowa, go to another state where they can obtain this oil, one of the states where it is autho­rized to pro­duce the cannabis, and then bring it back to Iowa, which vio­lates state and fed­eral laws all the way through.

Remov­ing mar­i­juana from Sched­ule 1 would be an impor­tant step in a big obsta­cle, fed­eral Sched­ule 1. The board has the author­ity to rec­om­mend that mar­i­juana be removed from state Sched­ule 1. That would be an impor­tant first step in send­ing an impor­tant mes­sage to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that there’s a big prob­lem with Sched­ule 1 and the imple­men­ta­tion of these state laws. We’ve got thirty-four (34) states now and last year when I was here it was only nine­teen (19). So, you can see how rapidly this is mov­ing for­ward. I don’t think the board can say this is not a valid con­cern, or that the board should not be say­ing, be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the leg­isla­tive process as required by the Iowa Code.

Thank you.

A couple of board members asked a few questions and Carl responded:

I don’t think the leg­is­la­ture under­stands the tech­ni­cal nature of the five (5) sched­ules, and I think the board does. And I think they need the assis­tance of the board with that par­tic­u­lar issue. It’s obvi­ous they want to do some­thing. And, it’s obvi­ous that they’ve started to move for­ward. But, I don’t think they under­stand how impor­tant to sched­ul­ing is. Sched­ule 1 says no accepted med­ical use in treat­ment in the United States, and that is just not the case. It has accepted med­ical use in thirty-four (34) states. Why the fed­eral gov­ern­ment hasn’t moved it out of Sched­ule 1 I can’t say. But this board rec­om­mended it be removed from state sched­ule 1 in 2010. And, I think the board should con­tinue to stand behind that and not let the leg­is­la­ture think that you’ve changed your mind, or that you’re not inter­ested any­more, or … I’ve heard that com­ment from leg­is­la­tors, like, “What’s hap­pened with the board of phar­macy? Why are they back­ing out on this?” So, I think there’s real dam­age there.

After discussion by the members of the board, the following motion was considered: It’s been moved and sec­onded to form a com­mit­tee to review the peti­tion on agency action for mar­i­juana sched­ul­ing with a, to bring it back at our Novem­ber meet­ing. All of those in favor say aye.

The motion passed unanimously. The significance of this action is monstrous. It appears as though the Iowa Pharmacy Board is going to recommend that marijuana be removed from Schedule I. In short, Schedule I contains a list of drugs that have no medical value.

For those of you who don’t know that fifteen minutes could save you as much as fifteen percent, here’s another piece of information that most everyone else knows: About half of the states have allowed for the medical use of marijuana or hemp in some manner.

Keep talking to your legislators about this issue. 81% of Iowans are in favor of medical marijuana. What could possibly prevent a good lawmaker from seeing that the time has come to put a lid on the “dangerous drug” stigma that has followed marijuana since the 1930s?

http://www.carl-olsen.com/2014/08/27/pharmacy-board-hearing-on-august-27-2014/

 

 

 

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