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Thursday, November 25, 2010

HUGE win for patients in Iowa

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy yesterday said that it would ask the Iowa legislature to change the scheduling of “marijuana” from Schedule I (no medical use) to Schedule II (accepted medical use).

This is the result of the efforts of a friend of mine, Carl Olsen, in Des Moines. Carl is a self-taught legal scholar. He has repeatedly sued state and federal agencies, asking merely that they follow the law. He’s lost some and won some. He won big yesterday.

The principal ramification of the Board’s decision is that the Iowa legislature will likely recognize the medical efficacy of cannabis. That, of course, will result, eventually, in some sort of way to legally utilize its efficacy to the benefit of patients.

In the larger picture, the federal Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana in Schedule I (Iowa adopted the federal schedule 30 years ago). Schedule I "drugs" have, by definition, "no accepted medical use in the United States." Iowa is poised to become the 16th state to recognize medical use for cannabis. Iowa is one of the United States.

Carl plans now to sue the DEA in an open-and-shut case. He now has standing to sue them, because he lives in Iowa. As a matter of law, the fact that Iowa and several other states have codified the fact that cannabis has medical use will force the feds to remove cannabis from Schedule I and reassign it (if they wish) to a Schedule that recognizes medical use.

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