This Wednesday, January 26th, at 9:15AM, there will be a subcommittee hearing on House Study Bill 4, in room 102 of the Supreme Court Consult Room for Public Safety. Follow this link to track the bill’s progress: http://tinyurl.com/6ey9ht
This bill, introduced by Clel Baudler, is great news for us.
There are 31 lobbyists registered for this bill. Of these 31, only two lobbyists are for the bill. The majority is undecided, and 7 are opposed.
When it comes to the issue of whether marijuana belongs in Schedule I or not, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy has already unanimously ruled no, and has introduced legislation to remove marijuana from Schedule I. The Board of Pharmacy bill to remove marijuana from Schedule I, SSB 1016, can be followed at http://tinyurl.com/4ec8g2o.
Clel’s bill to keep marijuana in Schedule I (as well as remove the rule making language in the Iowa Code) will not pass, at least not in it’s current form.
There are five registered lobbyists from the Iowa Medical Society, all of whom are against Clel Baudler’s bill. Four of them are members with advanced degress, not paid lobbyists, and the fifth is a former Governor Branstad Chief of Staff.
With those five opposing, plus two Pharmacy Board members (Therese Witkowski and Lloyd Jessen), there is no need for patients to testify as to how marijuana helps them medically. This bill is about rescheduling, not access. A separate bill for access is being drafted by Iowa Patients. Any patients interested in testifying for access should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Iowa Patients Executive Director Jimmy Morrison at email@example.com.
Therese Witkowski of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy told me today that she will be attending this meeting on Wednesday. She does not plan to make comments. If anyone takes the time to attend the meeting, please follow Mrs. Witkowski’s lead. There is no need for comments from patients at the meeting. Comments will only serve to hurt us at this point in time.
The meeting should only last about 30 minutes, during which the Subcommittee members will decide if the bill will be passed, amended, or rejected. With the medical experts on our side, it’s obvious that this bill will either be amended or rejected. One of the Legislators is going to talk to the Board of Pharmacy and ask what kind of language they would like in this bill, and then offer that as an amendment.
I would urge patients who are interested in writing Legislators about this bill to follow the sample letter below. We all need to stay on the same page and think strategically here. I know at first glance that this bill looks like a setback, but it really isn’t. In fact, this bill helps us! This bill stands in direct opposition to the Board of Pharmacy’s bill, and has no scientific rationale behind it! I’m confident the Pharmacy Board, and the Iowa Medical Society, will make sure the right thing happens. I’ll be paying attention to this bill’s progress, and any developments will be updated here on WeedPress, as well as the Facebook page for Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana.
This bill is not a threat. This is a minor step along the way. Nothing is finalized, and further discussion will be had before the bill goes any further. Since the Iowa Medical Society and Boards of Pharmacy are already lobbying agaist this bill, we as patients don’t need to inform legislators of anything. Just urge them to listen to the medical experts (not Clel Baudler) and follow the science. As long as our legislators do that, marijuana will be (rightfully) removed from Schedule I.
Keep up the good work everyone!
Representative Tom Sands (R): firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Joel Fry (R): Joel.Fry@legis.state.ia.us
Representative Mary Wolfe (D): Mary.Wolfe@legis.state.ia.us
I am writing to discuss House Study Bill 4, introduced by Representative Clel Baudler. This bill will remove marijuana from Schedule II, leaving it in Schedule I.
The Iowa Board of Pharmacy unanimously ruled that marijuana should be removed from Schedule I, following a scientific review of marijuana. A February 17th, 2010 press release by the Board of Pharmacy stated “The Iowa Board of Pharmacy today issued a recommendation that the Iowa Legislature reclassify marijuana from Schedule I of the Iowa Controlled Substances Act into Schedule II of the Act. A Schedule II drug includes narcotic drugs with a high potential for abuse but with currently accepted medical use in treatment.” (http://www.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/petitions/pdfs/idph_pr_20100217.pdf)
In November 2009, the American Medical Association passed a resolution that stated “Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods.” http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/443/csaph-report3-i09.pdf
In May 2010, the National Boards of Pharmacy awarded the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to Fred T. Mahaffey Award for
“…a number of public hearings, many hours spent listening to patients, doctors, pharmacists, and legislators, as well as reviewing hundreds of medical articles and other state laws, the Board moved forward in its decision to recommend that the Iowa state legislature reclassifymarijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance.”
In April 2010, the Iowa Medical Society passed a resolution that stated “RESOLVED: That the Iowa Medical Society support the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s reclassification of marijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance with the goal of facilitating further study into potential medical uses.”(http://www.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/pdfs/ims_hod_resolutions2010.pdf)
Furthermore, transferring marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II:
1.Does not make it legal for anyone to use marijuana.
2.Does not change the penalties for marijuana.
3.Does not cost the state anything.
I would urge you to consider these resolutions when discussing Clel Baudler’s bill. The Iowa Medical Society has five registered lobbyists opposed to this bill for a reason. Therese Witkowski of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy is expected to attend the hearing Wednesday. If you have any questions about this bill, please speak with her.
Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana
2919 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa, 50313