By Cindy Hadish, KCRG Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Iowa Board of Pharmacy has taken its final step regarding medical marijuana.
Board members on Wednesday, Nov. 24, drew up a bill for the Iowa Legislature to consider in January that would reclassify marijuana as a schedule II drug.
Marijuana is currently considered a schedule I drug in Iowa. Changing the classification would open its use for medicinal purposes like other prescription drugs, but not without further action, said Executive Director Lloyd Jessen.
First, the board’s action is only a recommendation to the Legislature, he said.
“They can react to it or ignore it,” Jessen said. “It doesn’t make it available for use at all, but it (would) change the classification.”
Legislators would also need to set up a “compassionate use” program, as 16 other states have done, to allow its use for medicinal purposes, he said.
Federal law prohibits its use, but the current administration is not enforcing that law in states that have medical marijuana programs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration could also make changes that would allow the use of medical marijuana, Jessen said.
Members of Iowans for Medical Marijuana attended the board’s meeting in Des Moines.
Jessen said legislators could still ask the board to administer a medical marijuana program.