LLOYD JESSEN: Welcome to the third public hearing on medical marijuana. This hearing is being held by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy pursuant to Iowa Code Section 124.201(1).
I am Lloyd Jessen, the executive director of the board. With me today is one board member, Peggy Whitworth, who is a public member from Cedar Rapids, and Peggy is sitting right over there. Also present today are board staff Debbie Jorgenson, who’s in the front row, and Becky Hall, who is out in the hallway.
SueAnne Jones of Johnson Reporting Services is serving as the certified reporter for this hearing.
The purpose of this hearing is to receive information from the public. A transcript of all comments that are received at today’s hearing will be reviewed by the six board members who are not present today.
Iowa law imposes upon the board the duty to periodically recommend to the legislature changes in controlled substance schedules. The board views this statutory responsibility with great seriousness, both because of the specificity Page 3 of Iowa Code Chapter 124 and because marijuana use and the use of drugs in general is a sensitive medical, social, and political issue.
Any board recommendation for changes to the controlled substance schedules will be preceded by a thoughtful review and analysis of the most helpful and current scientific information available to the board.
In making a recommendation to the legislature regarding marijuana, the board will consider the folowing 12 factors:
No. 1, marijuana’s actual or relative potential for abuse.
No 2., marijuana’s pharmacological effect.
No. 3, current scientific knowledge regarding marijuana.
No. 4, the history and current pattern of abuse of marijuana.
No. 5, the scope, duration, and significance of abuse of marijuana.
No. 6, the risk to the public health from moving marijuana from Schedule 1 to a different controlled substance schedule.
No. 7, the potential of marijuana to produce psychic or physiological dependence liability.
No 8, whether marijuana is an immediate precursor of a substance or some other controlled substance schedule.
No. 9, whether marijuana’s potential for abuse or lack thereof is Page Break not properly reflected ni its inclusion in Schedule 1.
No. 10, whether marijuana lacks a high potential for abuse.
No 11, whether marijuana has an accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
And finally, No. 12, whether marijuana does not lack accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.
This hearing will be held according to the following ground rules and will proceed in the following manner: Both proponents and opponents of medical marijuana will be allowed to speak. All speakers must come to the stage and speak into this number.
Depending on the number of people who wish to speak at today’s hearing, time limits will be imposed. In general, each person will be allowed a minimum of five minutes to speak. If feasible, additional time may be allowed. However, the board wants to ensure that every person who wishes to speak today receives an opportunity to do so.
Speakers will be called according to the order on our sign-up sheet. Some speakers have already reserved time prior to today’s hearing, and they will provide their comments as previously scheduled. Some speakers have also requested additional time. All requests for additional time will be allowed as circumstances permit.
The board wishes to remind everyone that this is a hearing, not an opportunity for debate. We are here today to receive comments concerning the medical use of marijuana. As part of this process, I and/or Ms. Whitworth may have questions for the speakers. Please be aware that we are not here to receive comments regarding the legalization of marijuana for nonmedicinal purposes. Page Break
Speakers are also reminded to avoid repetitious or irrelevant comments. Speakers should be short and concise. Unruly behavior will not be tolerated. Please hold your applause until each speaker has finished making their comments.
In addition to receiving oral comments at today’s hearing, the board welcomes and encourages people to submit written comments. Any comments or other information received at today’s hearing will be public information and may be referred to or referenced in reports or recommendations issued by the board to the legislature.
This hearing will be in session until 7 p.m. tonight. We will take about two 15 minute breaks during the afternoon. Our next and our final public hearing on this topic will be held on Wednesday, November 4 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, from 10 am to 7 pm.
We will now welcome our first speaker who is Senator Joe Bolkcom from Iowa City.