Pharmacy Board Hears Case for Marijuana Reclassification

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Board of Pharmacy is considering a proposal to make medical marijuana more accessible to Iowans.

It's the first step in the process that could lead to a change in state law.

An Iowa Board of Pharmacy sub-committee met Monday to discuss a request to reclassify marijuana. The three person marijuana review committee heard from medicinal marijuana advocates and doctors who say the drug needs to be reclassified as a schedule two drug.

Reclassifying marijuana would make it acceptable for medical use, which advocates say would make way for more studies and medical trials.

"I have no doubt there is medicinal value in medical marijuana specifically for my daughter but for many other medically fragile Iowans," says Sally Gaer of West Des Moines.

Gaer's 24-year-old daughter Margaret suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.   On top of reclassification, Gaer also wants to be able to access medical marijuana in Iowa.

"It would be extremely beneficial for you to also recommend that a controlled grow, process, and laboratory facility be allowed in Iowa to provide medication to medically fragile Iowans," says Gaer.

Those Iowans include Lori Tassin who also wants the option to use cannabis oil to treat her lung cancer.

"I might have to move and go elsewhere so i can save my life.  I have four kids that I have to be here for with my youngest that just turned 8.  I have to be here, I have to do anything in my power to live," says Tassin.

The Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy is against the change.

The full Board of Pharmacy is expected to vote on the proposal Wednesday. It still needs legislative approval.



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