Pubdate: Sun, 12 Dec 2010
Source: Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA)
Copyright: 2010 Times Republican
Author: Randall C. Wilson


The article (Dec. 1,Times-Republican) on local legislators opposing 
the legislative recommendations of the Iowa Pharmacy Board shows that 
people, including our legislators, do not understand what the board 
has actually recommended.

The Pharmacy Board has asked that language that authorized it to make 
regulations to permit medical marijuana be removed from the code. 
This is not a step toward legalization.

The Board is also recommending marijuana be removed from Schedule I 
where it was placed by politicians decades ago and placed in Schedule 
II along with substances like opium.

According to the legislature's own scheduling criteria, marijuana 
belongs in schedule II which is reserved for substances and drugs 
that do have some recognized medical utility, but which may have a 
high potential for abuse. This intellectually honest change in 
scheduling may facilitate research into some of marijuana's amazing 
medical properties but it does not make marijuana legal any more than 
placement in schedule II made opium legal. In fact, more medical 
research on marijuana's medicinal properties could result in drugs 
that reduce the perceived need for marijuana in medical treatment.

Ironically, because we have not actively developed medicines from the 
cannabinoids found in marijuana our society is today much more 
dependent on more addictive and harsher drugs developed from opiates 
in order to alleviate the same medical problems that drive 
chronically ill and dying patients to use marijuana. Law enforcement 
experts would tell you that the bigger problem today is the abuse of 
prescription drugs developed from opiates and other addictive substitutes.

It is time to hold even our local legislators accountable when they 
attempt to legislate bad science based on knee jerk reactions. The 
expertise of the Iowa Pharmacy Board should at least entitle its 
proposals to a proper understanding and a fair hearing before the legislature.

Randall C. Wilson, Des Moines
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom