The Iowa Board of Pharmacy today will revisit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Board members will discuss the possibility of holding a series of public hearings on the matter. Earlier this year, the board rejected a petition from Carl Olsen to remove the drug from the state’s list of controlled substances. Olsen, who leads the group Iowans for Medical Marijuana, claims the board failed to truly address his petition. "The petition I filed was to get (the board) to recognize that Iowa law says ‘marijuana has no accepted medical use in the United States,’" Olsen explained. "It has accepted use in 13 states, so it doesn’t fit in that classification."
Lloyd Jessen is the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s executive secretary and director. "As far as (the board) is concerned, (Olsen’s) request is over," Jessen told Radio Iowa. "I guess it’s all working toward the same direction and that’s to look at medical marijuana and see if there should be any changes in Iowa or not."
Thirteen states have legalized medicinal marijuana. Olsen believes public support for its approval in Iowa is building. "The science is getting stronger every day. Obviously, that science was sufficient to convince 13 states to enact laws legalizing it, so I would image the result would be the same (in Iowa) as it’s been in those 13 states…but it’s kind of tough to call," Olsen said.
If the Board of Pharmacy votes to hold public hearings, they would take place across the state this year. Jessen says the ultimate purpose of the hearings would be for the board to possibly issue a recommendation to the legislature next year. A bill to legalize medical marijuana failed to advance at the statehouse this spring.