Pharmacist Kevin Litten gave a fantastic speech at the 2009 Iowa Board of Pharmacy hearing in Iowa City, Iowa. Below is his speech. Original transcripts of the hearings are available at Iowans for Medical Marijuana.
KEVIN LITTEN: Hello. My name is Kevin Litten. I’m a registered pharmacist in the State of Iowa. My number is 17715. I’m here to talk about how unfortunate it is that neither of the colleges of pharmacy in the state teach their students about the history and philosophy of pharmacy as some other schools do. I think that it would be a valuable part of their curriculum and a useful thing to know as they proceed in their careers.
If you go back to the early days of pharmacy and the basic philosophy of it, it leads to discuss guys like Paris Helton (phonetical), and some of those old renaissance and medieval scientists talked about, especially God gave us everything. It’s all here on earth. All of our problems we have can be answered with what we have and what we know.
And to make certain plants illegal is an affront to God, and yet some states have as many as 49 illegal plants. We’re talking about plants like marijuana, like salvia, the opium poppy, psilocybe, keule, kava, and cawe. All of these plants have side effects which may not be good, and they have effects which may not be good, and some of them are probably outright poisonous, but they have other chemicals that may be lifesaving, that are possible to treat certain diseases, to help people who need them. Unless we make these things legal, we cannot investigate them properly and fully, and we’re unable to use them to treat our patients with the diseases that they have.
By making anything illegal, you do not lessen its availability , only who you buy it from and how much you pay. You essentially lose control over it.
If you look at the prohibition story in the Bible in Genesis, you will see what happened when Adam and Eve came across a tree that they should not have — have used. God did not form up a DEA. He did not send thugs after them. He did make them responsible for their actions, but we don’t have the massive police state that we have now.
Furthermore, by making these plants illegal, the money that is gained from it goes to support the enemies of America. It supports terrorism, and it supports crime, so all of these things should be made legal and controlled. They should not be illegal.
Also, by making them legal, you could have standards, and you could have research on delivery system and of course, you know, the other chemicals which may be in those plants that we know nothing about now. We’ve been doing research for years on anastomose and sponges and things grown at the bottom of the sea, yet these plants are right here in front of us.
We should be able to look at them and decide how best to use them to help mankind. And I thank you for your time.
LLOYD JESSEN: Thank you, Kevin.
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