Letter explains legalization vs rescheduling


December 17, 2010

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
5220 SE 31st Court
Des Moines, IA 50320
Certified Mail Receipt No. 7007 1490 0002 0045 7558

Dear Rep. McCarthy,

I would like to meet with you to talk about the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s recommendation to change the classification of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II in Iowa. There seems to be much confusion about what the board is recommending, because the recommendation the board is making has changed since it was first considered in February of 2010. In February, the board recommended the Iowa Legislature create a program to distribute marijuana for medical use. The board has dropped that recommendation.

I’ve included a copy of the pharmacy board’s current proposal, which does not do any of the following:

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.

The pharmacy board’s bill is the most restrictive medical marijuana law ever proposed, because it does not provide anyone with access to marijuana. Without federal approval, marijuana will never become legal by transferring it from Schedule I to Schedule II in Iowa. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy is simply fulfilling its duty to make a recommendation based on science as it has been authorized to do by the Iowa Legislature for the past 40 years. See Iowa Code § 124.201.

Nobody should be asking why we need to transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II in Iowa, because the law says that decision should be based on a scientific review of marijuana to be made by the pharmacy board. That is the sole reason for the change. The law says this is the reason for the change.

It would be a cruel deception on the people of Iowa to put the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to the trouble of doing all that work if it was all a hoax and the law is meaningless. What kind of example is that to set before the people of Iowa?

I’ve attached copies of the pharmacy’s board’s current proposal, as well as the original recommendation they made in February of 2010. The Board initially recommended the change in classification be conditional on the creation of a medical marijuana distribution program by the Iowa Legislature.

The Board has dropped that condition and the only issue remaining is reclassification to the same schedule as coca leaf and opium poppy. Neither coca leaf nor opium poppy is available to patients in Iowa or anywhere else in the United States. Those plants are in Schedule II strictly for the purpose of manufacturing FDA approved pharmaceuticals.

The DEA has proposed as of November 1, 2010, to make naturally extracted cannabinoids from the marijuana plant approved for pharmaceutical manufacture and DHHS has a patent on the extraction of cannabinoids it obtained in 2003.

The AMA approved reclassification of marijuana in November of 2009, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy in February of 2010, the Iowa Medical Society in April of 2010, and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in May of 2010.

I would like to make sure that you understand what is being proposed by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy so it does not become confused with efforts to legalize medical use of marijuana as 15 states have already done. The Board has dropped its request for legalization of marijuana from its proposed legislation. Anyone opposed to legalization of marijuana for medical use should now be satisfied that the legislation the Iowa Board of Pharmacy is now proposing provides no one with any access to marijuana.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Thank you!

Carl Olsen
515-288-5798 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              515-288-5798      end_of_the_skype_highlighting home phone
515-343-9933 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              515-343-9933      end_of_the_skype_highlighting cell phone
carl-olsen at mchsi dot com


  1. Proposed Legislation to transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy pre-filed on November 29, 2010.
  2. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s original recommendation on February 17, 2010.
  3. The recommendation of the American Medical Association to remove marijuana from Schedule I on November 10, 2009.
  4. The recommendation of the Iowa Medical Society to remove marijuana from Schedule I on April 18, 2010.
  5. The recommendation of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to remove marijuana from Schedule I on May 25, 2010.
  6. The proposal of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to put naturally extracted THC in Schedule III where synthetic THC has been since 1999. Vol. 75, Federal Register, No. 210, Monday, November 2, 2010, pages 67054-67059, showing that DEA now considers marijuana to be a legitimate source of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.
  7. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services patent on the extraction of naturally occurring cannabinoids from marijuana for legitimate medical purposes. United State Patent No. 6,630,507 B1, October 7, 2003. Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.


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