Carl Olsen of Des Moines, who founded Iowans for Medical Marijuana, submitted the request. He says keeping marijuana as a Schedule I substance indicates the plant has no medicinal value.
“We have 34 states that have declared (marijuana as) medicine and we have it in this crazy classification that says it’s only for substances that have no accepted medical use and treatment in the United States,” Olsen says. “These schedules were meant to be flexible because circumstances change and for (pharmacy board members) to act like 34 state laws is not a significant change in circumstances is insane.”
Last year, lawmakers passed and the governor signed a bill into law that allows the use of cannabis oil for patients with chronic epilepsy. But, parents of children with the condition say it’s nearly impossible to safely, affordably, and legally get medical cannabis in other states and bring back to Iowa.
One reason Olsen wants marijuana moved to Schedule II is so cannabis oil could more easily be manufactured in Iowa. He notes the American Academies of Neurology and Pediatrics have both recommended marijuana be reclassified so it’s no longer a Schedule I drug.
“Why doesn’t the (Iowa Board of Pharmacy) listen to these medical experts?” Olsen says. According to Olsen, board members are calling the medical marijuana issue a “political decision” and are waiting for legislators to tackle the matter.
At the statehouse, three bills to reclassify marijuana failed to make it out of committee by the funnel date and are considered dead for this year.