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Senate bills would reclassify marijuana

marijuanaBy Bob Eschliman


A pair of bills offered last week in the Iowa Senate would reclassify marijuana and THC if approved and signed into law.

Senate File 282, offered Thursday by state Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), would reclassify marijuana and THC from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule II controlled substance. That would allow the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to enact rules for medical use of those substances.

A Schedule I controlled substance is a highly addictive substance that has no accepted medical use in the United States. A Schedule II controlled substance is a highly addictive substance that has an accepted medical use in the United States. While the reclassification would allow a physician to issue a prescription for marijuana under state law, federal regulations may still prohibit it.

SF 282 has a number of lobbyist declarations, both for and against its passage. The following groups are in favor of the bill: the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Easter Seals of Iowa, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Iowa Clemency Project, and Iowans for Medical Marijuana.

The Iowa Peace Officers Association is opposed to the proposed legislation. Meanwhile, the following groups have declared they are “undecided” on the bill: the Iowa Psychological Association, the Iowa Behavioral Health Association, the Iowa Police Chief Association, and the Iowa State Police Association.

A similar bill, Senate Study Bill 1205, out of the Senate Judiciary Committee would also strike the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s authority to enact rules for the medical use of marijuana and THC. This bill has the support of the Iowa Association for Justice, the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.