A Des Moines man who’s been leading the push to legalize medical marijuana in Iowa says he plans to petition the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to write the rules allowing use of the drug. Carl Olsen’s comments follow House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s announcement that legislative leaders have dropped plans to have a committee study the issue.

McCarthy says it appears the Iowa Code states it’s the board’s duty to write the rules – not lawmakers. Olsen says the matter could wind up being reviewed by the courts.

“The question in the judicial review would be whether (the pharmacy board) has a duty to make the rules. McCarthy seems to be saying they do and he’s an attorney,” Olsen said. “So, I would file for the judicial review and whatever outcome came out of it, the question McCarthy is raising would be answered by it.” The pharmacy board earlier this year recommended lawmakers change the classification of marijuana to make it easier for doctors to prescribe the drug to patients. Olsen says it seems both the pharmacy board and lawmakers are unwilling to take the next step.

“It’s going to break somewhere,” Olsen said. “I think the Board of Pharmacy took a good first step in looking at the scientific literature and reaching the conclusion that it does have medical use. That creates an obligation on the part of the state to move forward and do something about it.” Fourteen states have legalized the use of medical marijuana.