This is an update to my two previous articles:
- January 11, 2015: Pharmacy Board Denies My Petition Again
- November 16, 2015: Iowa Board of Pharmacy Legislative Proposals for 2016
On January 14, 2015, the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) made changes to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy (IBPE) legislative proposal for 2015, without notifying me.
|Ruling to Maintain Marijuana in Schedule 1||January 5, 2015: Ruling on Marijuana||45 KB|
|Ruling to Transfer Cannabidiol to Schedule 2||January 5, 2015: Ruling on Cannabidiol||48 KB|
|Minutes from the January 5–6 Meeting||January 10, 2015: IBPE Meeting Minutes||5,568 KB|
|Email to Carl Olsen and ODCP with the 2 Rulings||January 14, 2015: Email to Carl Olsen and ODCP||65 KB|
|Email to ODCP with the Revised Cannabidiol Ruling||January 14, 2015: Email to ODCP||146 KB|
|Revised Ruling on Cannabidiol||January 14, 2015: Revised Ruling on Cannabidiol||50 KB|
Not only was I not notified, the January 10, 2015, meeting minutes were altered without any documentation noting the change or who authorized it. You can see the substituted ruling attached to those minutes, which are still signed and dated on January 10, 2015. These changes were not significant, as far as my petition is concerned, but it does show a complete disregard for due process. The Office of Drug Control Policy got a copy of the changed ruling on my petition, but the courtesy was not extended by sending me a copy of the changed ruling when they made the changes to it.
But, the purpose of my open records request was not to uncover chicanery. I wanted to know what happened to the cannabidiol proposal. Was the governor notified? Was the legislature notified? The typical process the Iowa Board of Pharmacy follows is to prefile a bill before the legislative session begins, which they did in 2012, 2014, and 2015 and are doing now for 2016. Iowa Code § 2.16 allows state agencies to prefile legislation 45 days in advance of a session. Cannabidiol is not in the proposed legislation for 2015 or 2016, so what happened to it?
So, we’ve established through this open records request that the usual process used to notify the legislature did not take place. On January 16, 2015, Senator Steven Sodders invited the executive director of the pharmacy board to attend the hearing on his proposal (SSB1005) to transfer marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2. Remember now, the board just voted against this on January 5, 2015. But, the board actually did vote to transfer marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2 in 2010. Can you say mixed signals?
|Invitation to Hearing on SSB1005||January 16, 2015: Invitation to Hearing on SSB1005||50 KB|
|Cancellation of Hearing on SSB1005||January 20, 2015: Cancellation of Hearing on SSB1005||15 KB|
The last entry for SSB1005 is January 14, 2015. The proposed meeting on January 20, 2015, never took place.
However, this was not the end of it. Toward the end of the legislative session, the Democrats decided to get aggressive and introduced a medical marijuana bill. In preparation, the pharmacy board was again invited to particpate. The executive director of the pharmacy board resigned suddenly and unexpectedly at the end of March 2015. So, the interim director, Terry Witkowski, provided input to the Republican Caucus Staff. I’m guessing this is because Senator Charles Schneider sent me an email on April 19, 2015, reminding me that he voted in favor of transferring marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2 at the interim study committee hearing on September 11, 2014.
|Email from Terry Witkowski to Josh Bronsink||April 7, 2015: Email to Republican Caucus Staff||438 KB|
|Attachment #1||January 14, 2015, Recommendation from the Pharmacy Board||341 KB|
|Attachment #2||February 17, 2010, Recommendation from the Pharmacy Board||9 KB|
|Attachment #3||February 17, 2010, Minutes from the Pharmacy Board||95 KB|
On April 14, 2015, Senator Sodders filed an amendment to SF 484, which would transfer marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2, S-3123. All of the Republicans in attendance on April 15, 2015, voted in favor of S-3123 by a vote of 44–0-6, but then voted against SF 484 which narrowly passed by a vote of 26–19-5.
Again, on April 30, 2015, Senator Sodders filed an amendment to HF 567, which would transfer marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2, S-3148, which narrowly passed on May 5, 2015, by a vote of 27–23.
These two bills, SF 484 and HF 567 are currently pending in the Iowa House of Representatives. HF 567 has already been passed in the Iowa House, but the amendment, H-1340 (S-3148 in the Iowa Senate), must still be considered before it becomes final.