Bill would give state legislators authority over medical marijuana issue
March 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
A bill under consideration at the statehouse stipulates that only the legislature has the authority to allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Representative Jarad Klein, a Republican from Keota, urged members of the House to vote for the bill. “I believe this is an important act for the legislature to take under,” Klein says. “We are accountable to the people and I believe that’s what this bill really goes at the heart of is who has the authority.”
In the past few years the Iowa Board of Pharmacy has debated the issue of medical marijuana and considered putting it on their list of controlled substances which can be dispensed with a prescription, but has never taken that final step. The bill would forbid the board from allowing medical marijuana prescriptions in Iowa. “The intent of this piece of legislation is clarify that only the legislature shall have the discretion to move marijuana from a Scheduled I controlled substance to a Schedule II controlled substance,” Klein says.
The bill passed the House this week on a 71 to 24 vote. It now goes to a senate committee for consideration. Marijuana is illegal in the United States, but 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to permit marijuana to be prescribed as a treatment for symptoms like pain and nausea that are often associated with chronic and fatal illnesses.