Feb 182010
 February 18, 2010

Is Iowa set to become the 15th state to approve medical marijuana? The chances of it happening are very good, but not for a couple years. On Wednesday, the Iowa Pharmacy Board voted unanimously to recommend that the state Legislature move forward on medical marijuana research and legislation. The Board also recommended that marijuana’s classification be switched, from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. Schedule 2 controlled substances have potential for abuse, but have accepted medical uses.

The Board recommendations came after four public meetings, where proponents gave testimony about the need for a medical program in Iowa and the rescheduling of marijuana (see the link for the ACLU press release). The issue was originally raised in 2008 when the ACLU and Carl Olsen, co-founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana, petitioned the Pharmacy Board to reschedule marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. Originally, the board rejected the request, until a judge issued an injunction requiring the Board to review the classification listing to see if marijuana had any medical uses. After the public hearings, the Board voted 6-0 in favor of medical marijuana. That is one hell of a turnaround, considering they didn’t even want to look into it less than a year ago!! It’s amazing what happens when people put their personal views aside and look at the medical benefits of marijuana through an objective lens.

Now it is up to the Iowa legislature to create a committee to explore ways to administer a medical marijuana program. Unfortunately, the legislative session is likely to end by late March, and there won’t be time to create a committee this year. However, 2011 is looking very promising for medical marijuana in Iowa. This is a very significant victory for not just medical marijuana in Iowa, but in the other 35 states in America that don’t have medical marijuana yet. The lawsuit that was filed by the ACLU and Mr. Olsen can be applied to every other state in the union. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance, which is an obvious misclassification. If the ACLU, along with state organizations, filed lawsuits in every state for the same reason, I predict the results would be the same as in Iowa. That is very exciting stuff!

Until medical marijuana comes to Iowa, Carl Olsen said he would keep pursuing his lawsuit. Cannabis fans around the nation need to give Mr. Olsen a big round of applause, because he may have started something that could sweep across the nation. Rescheduling marijuana is a vital step towards legalization, and it seems that Mr. Olsen has almost accomplished it in one of the most conservative states in the nation. I love his quote after the Board issued its decision. “If you’re a medical patient and you use marijuana for medical purposes, and you get arrested, your jury is going to be a whole lot more sympathetic today than it would have been yesterday,” Olsen said. “All the work I’ve put into this has paid off.” I tip my hat to you Mr. Olsen, you are amazing!!

http://aclu-ia.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=7nFz63gooCs%3d&tabid=36

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Lynn

    To whom it may concern. I want this here for public record. I am one of the original 5 children that the 1979 marijuana bill was written for and was written to protect these same five children for life. 2 of them died using the pill form. I know the other boy and I lived due to this prescription. I am unsure though if he is still alive today. We were cancer prone our bodies could not stop cancer production on it’s own. One of the cannabinoids was found to stop cancer production and in this first study they learned cannabis was a neuro protectant and antioxidant. I am in full support of this bill being expanded but demand to be grand fathered in under my current rights per the 1079 bill. What you are offering is less then we were protected for. This 1979 bill was to protect us for life not until you decided to rewrite it. I think it is wonderful Iowans are waking up to realize this is a viable treatment. I have been in cancer studies for over 30 years. When I was 14 my spleen was taken out due to cancer I really have no filtering system or immune system. However the cannabis replaced this on a constant basis and why I am still alive today. This is why I lived and Aids people die from just a weakened immune system. Should you change this bill and diminish my rights in anyway, you will force me to die, which this 1979 law protected from happening. I request any legislator who works on this topic to contact me via email to open a dialogue on this topic to ensure my rights are grand fathered and protected from change under the current bill, and the boy/man who may also still be alive to protect his rights at the same time. We had freedom which you are seeking to regulate. I at the same time will not give up my current rights so you can regulate others. This is sad to me that you would change the freedom that was given and realized at that time was necessary for those with cancer and so on to heal. I will fight this bill on all levels if I am not grand fathered in. I think it amazing you want to open it up to ensure others gain the same benefits however not at the risk of eliminating or regulating those who came before and this bill protected from such actions. I carry my medical record on this in my purse at all times to protect me. Should you seek to take my right away I will also indeed fight you as that bill protected this from happening until we five children were dead. I am in full support of the bill with a grandfather clause… DrRevLynn@aol.com