A leading advocate for medical marijuana says he believes the Iowa Board of Pharmacy is ignoring it’s legal responsibility. The board on Tuesday rejected a request that it write the rules allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Carl Olsen of Des Moines is director of Iowans for Medical Marijuana.
“Earlier this year they said some rules should be made and they recommended the legislature make some rules or create a study committee to make some rules,” Olsen said. “That’s contrary to what that statute says…the statute says the board will make the rules. It doesn’t say they can pass it off to anybody or they can avoid the responsibility. So, if rules are to be made, the law says the board should make them.”
Pharmacy board members say they shouldn’t be writing the rules, in part, because they’re appointed and not elected to the board. “And they’re saying it’s outside the scope of their authority,” Olsen said. “Well, where does authority come from? The legislature said (the Board of Pharmacy) has the authority.”
The board recommended legislators reclassify marijuana in February to allow its use for medical purposes. Legislative leaders declared Iowa Code gives the pharmacy board that power. Olsen says if board members don’t agree with the law, they should say so. “The Board of Pharmacy needs to step up to the plate here and tell us whether this law is unconstitutional or whether they’re going to obey it,” Olsen said.
Olsen says he may appeal the matter to court, where he’d ask a judge to order the board to take action.