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Carl Olsen's Blog

Medical Marijuana Rescheduling Petitions

Reefer Madness in Iowa - DMACC Campus Chronicle - April 20, 2011
Audio Recording of February 8 2011, Iowa Board of Pharmacy Hearing (15 MB)
HF 183 approved by Committee on Public Safety on February 2, 2011
Audio Recording 3 of January 26, 2011, House Study Bill 4 (25 MB)
Audio Recording 2 of January 26, 2011, House Study Bill 4 (18 MB)
Audio Recording 1 of January 26, 2011, House Study Bill 4 (13 MB)
January 26, 2011 - Information Sheet on HSB 4
January 11, 2011 - Final Order on Petition for Rule Making
Agenda for Iowa Board of Pharmacy meeting on January 11, 2011
Audio Recording of December 15, 2010, Iowa Legislative Forum (7 MB)
Iowa Board of Pharmacy's proposed legislation - November 29, 2010
Audio Recording of November 24, 2010, Iowa Board of Pharmacy hearing (11 MB)
Iowa Board of Pharmacy's proposed legislation - November 24, 2010
Agenda for Iowa Board of Pharmacy meeting on November 24, 2010
Iowans for Medical Marijuana Press Release - November 21, 2010
Carl Olsen's Letter to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy on November 9, 2010
Agenda for Iowa Board of Pharmacy meeting on November 2, 2010
Audio Recording of November 2, 2010, Iowa Board of Pharmacy hearing (19 MB)
Iowa Board of Medicine Notice of December 19, 2007, regarding DEA regulations

Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Drug Enforcement Administration Weighs In on September 6, 1988

Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.
In The Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition, DEA Docket No. 86-22, September 6, 1988, at pages 58-59.

Iowa District Court Weighs In on August 13, 1997

What all of this means is that, if the board of pharmacy examiners really concludes marijuana to have no medicinal value, as alleged by the assistant county attorney, the board has an unqualified duty to recommend that the general assembly delete it from Schedule II and revise Schedule I so that it is not excluded even when utilized for medicinal purposes. See Sections 124.203, 124.205, (The Code 1997).
Judge Jon Fister, First Judicial District, State v. Helmers, No. FECR047575.

Iowa Supreme Court Weighs In on February 11, 2005

Use of marijuana is a public-policy issue best suited for the legislature because it is driven by legal, moral, philosophical, and medical concerns that are ill-suited for resolution by this court. This is especially true in view of the fact the legislature has deferred the initial decision on the matter to the Board of Pharmacy Examiners.
State v. Bonjour, 694 N.W.2d 511, 514 (Iowa 2005)

Iowa Board of Pharmacy Weighs In on February 17, 2010

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy recommends that the legisalture reclassify marijuana from Schedule I of the Iowa Controlled Substances Act (Act) into Schedule II of the Act with the further recommendation that the legislature convene a task force or study committee comprised of various disciplines including but not limited to the following: a representative of a seriously ill patient; a representative of law enforcement; a representative of the Iowa Attorney General; a representative of an HIV organization or a physician caring for an AIDS patient; a substance abuse treatment representative; a person living with a serious illness; a hospice or palliative care representative; a representative of the Iowa Board of Nursing; a representative of the Iowa Board of Medicine; and a representative of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, for the purpose of making recommendations back to the legislature regarding the administration of a medical marijuana program.

Iowa Board of Pharmacy, February 17, 2010
October 12, 2010 - Petition for Rule Making

Iowa Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Lloyd Jessen responds to Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on National Public Radio Morning Edition on June 16, 2010
SARAH McCAMMON: State lawmakers now say they're no longer planning a legislative study looking into the possible legalization of medical marijuana. House majority leader Kevin McCarthy has said he's determined that existing state law gives the Iowa Board of Pharmacy the authority to set such rules, so there's no need for a committee to study the issue. However, pharmacy board officials don't seem too eager to jump in and legalize medical marijuana in Iowa. The board voted unanimously earlier this year to recommend that the legislature change the way marijuana is classified to pave the way for medicinal use. The board's executive director, Lloyd Jessen, joins me now. Lloyd, now that the legislature seem to be backing off, where does that leave the pharmacy board?
LLOYD JESSEN: Well, the pharmacy board has made its recommendation that the drug should be rescheduled to class II, or schedule II, which is the starting point if you're going to make it available medically. So, that's where the pharmacy board is at.
SARAH McCAMMON: So, will the board go ahead and actually create a policy to allow that to go foward, to allow medical marijuana to go forward at this point?
LLOYD JESSEN: It would involve a lot more than a policy. The board believes that it requires some new law, or some new legislation. And that's because, even though we technically have a law on the books that would allow the board to go ahead and try to do it by rule making, that's not practical. And it's not doable today, because that law is from 1978. And the circumstances that existed when that old law was in place are completely different today. Back in 1978 the federal government was permitting what they called investigational use of medical marijuana, and they actually supplied the medical marijuana. I think as everyone is aware now the federal government discontinued that program long ago. And, federally, medical marijuana is not legal. Also, as people are aware, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Attorney General have given some guidance saying that states that now have medical marijuana laws won't be disturbed. So, conditions have changed and the issues that are involved here are many more than just a drug or pharmacy related issue. And we have things like the distribution of the marijuana itself. How would that be done? Would patients be allowed to grow it? Would the state grow it and provide it? Or would the state license private vendors? Other issues would be such as: How are the physicians going to prescribe it or recommend it? What medical conditions are going to be treated with medical marijuana? These are all things that go far beyond what the board of pharmacy can do by rulemaking.
SARAH McCAMMON: But given that the head of the majority, the house majority leader Kevin McCarthy has said that in his understanding the laws are on the books that would allow the pharmacy board, your board, to move forward with this...
LLOYD JESSEN: Okay, what didn't you understand that I just said? I said the law is 32 years old. Conditions have changed from 32 years ago. There are issues that we can't handle by administrative rulemaking. That's why it won't work. And I'll be writing Senator McCarthy to tell him that.
SARAH McCAMMON: So does it just come down to a difference of opinion between the board and the legislature?
LLOYD JESSEN: I don't think it comes down to a difference of opinion. It comes down to the legality of it. Rulemaking is not legislation.
SARAH McCAMMON: And what do you intend to ask Mr. McCarthy to do in your letter?
LLOYD JESSEN: Well, I intend to inform him that it's our opinion that we can't do this by rulemaking even though there is an antiquated law on the books. It's not workable.
SARAH McCAMMON: What specific legislative changes would you like to see? I mean you outlined some of the problems, but what do you think the legislature needs to do?
LLOYD JESSEN: The board of pharmacy needs to consider the issue like the other 14 states have done. If you look at what the other 14 states have done, their legislators and their governors have acted on it. Because you need to bring in law enforcement people, you need to bring in the physican group. You need to bring in a lot of people beyond who the board of pharmacy has jurisdiction over. The board of pharmacy is limited in what it can do. It was created to regulate the practice of pharmacy. And this goes far beyond regulating the practice of pharmacy, because medical marijuana probably will not be distributed by pharmacies. It'll be either grown by patients, or it'll be provided by vendors, or it would be provide by the state.
SARAH McCAMMON: Lloyd, thank you for your time.
LLOYD JESSEN: You're welcome.
Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Weighs In on KCCI TV 8, April 30, 2010.
Kevin McCarthy
It's interesting that the law pretty much already allows it currently and I don't think most people realize that.
But it is an interesting game changer.
Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy
And this would be something that would be science based. It would be bipartisan in origin. It would be really on the health of Iowa patients.
It will be treated like morphine, and which is under a complete doctor's care, doctor's prescription only, and heavily monitored and heavily regulated, and the severe felony penalties for anybody that tries to deal in that area outside of the medical situation.
Kevin McCarthy
July 16, 1996
Carl E. Olsen
Post Office Box 4091
Des Moines, IA 50333
Dear Mr. Olsen:
I am writing in response to your letter dated June 21, 1996. In regard to Senate File 487, this legislative bill was approved on June 1, 1979. The Board of Pharmacy Examiners adopted 620 Iowa Administrative Code chapter 12 "Medicinal Use of Marijuana" on October 1, 1979. A copy of chapter 12 is enclosed per your request.
Subrule 12.3(5) called for the termination of the research program on June 30, 1981. It appears that the program ended on that date. Because of changes in Iowa Code chapter 204 as amended by 1986 Iowa Acts, chapter 1037, chapter 12 was rescinded in its entirety on January 20, 1987. Apparently, the change in the Iowa Code in 1986 eliminated the need for investigational programs on the medical use of marijuana.
In regard to the advisory group of physicians which was required to be formed seventeen years ago in 1979 pursuant to Senate File 487 and 620 I.A.C. chapter 12, these records are either no longer in existence or are nonretrievable. The current office files contain no information about the advisory group or its activities.
Sincerely yours,
Lloyd K. Jessen, R.Ph., J.D.
Executive Secretary/Director

July 20, 2010 - Agenda for the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Teleconference of July 20, 2010
July 20, 2010 - Petition for Rule Making
September 28, 2010 - Board Meeting Agenda
September 28, 2010 - Final Order on Petition for Rule Making
October 12, 2010 - Petition for Rule Making
October 12, 2010 - Memorandum in Support of Petition