By Mark Tauscheck
DES MOINES, Iowa –
An Iowa Board of Pharmacy committee listened to debate Monday over reclassifying marijuana.
Reclassifying marijuana from Schedule 1, highly-abused drugs with no medical use, to Schedule 2, drugs that have medical use, could be a step toward legalizing medicinal marijuana production and distribution in the state. This is the next step proponents said must be taken to allow them to utilize a new state law that currently they cannot.
Last year, the Iowa legislature approved a limited law allowing possession of cannabis oil for people with severe epilepsy, but when medical marijuana cards are handed out early next year, the cards will not provide protection from prosecution in other states or on a federal level for trying to transport or mail the cannabis oil.
“We will basically be unable to access any high CBD-oil, low-THC anywhere in the United States. So I’m not sure what we will do with the card,” Sally Gaer said at the Monday meeting. Gaer’s daughter has severe epilepsy.
Proponents will be lobbying legislators to take the next step to allow production and distribution of medical marijuana in Iowa. A special marijuana review committee heard comments Monday before deciding if they will recommend reclassifying marijuana to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy later this week.
A board member with Drug Free Iowa said such a move would send a mixed message to young Iowans.
“CBD oil and THC oil is very hard to discern, that using an e-cigarette is a very easy way to consume them and that we see an increasing amount of children using marijuana through e-cigarettes,” said Peter Komendowski, of Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa.
Another group will be lobbying for more diseases and ailments to be included in the law in addition to epilepsy. One woman said she wants to be able to treat her cancer with cannabis oil.
“I have four kids I have to be here for, with my youngest who just turned 8. I have to be here. I have to do anything in my power to live,” Lori Tassin said Monday.
The committee will make its recommendation on whether to reclassify marijuana to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday. The board will then either agree, disagree or table for further analysis. The legislature and governor have final say.