"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

Controlled Substances Act of 1970

Title II created a Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse to report to Congress, within one year, on marijuana, and, within two years, on the causes of drug abuse.

Iowa Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1971

Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Commissioned by President Richard M. Nixon, March, 1972

The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse was created by Public Law 91-513 to study marijuana abuse in the United States. While the Controlled Substances Act was being drafted in a House committee in 1970, Assistant Secretary of Health Roger O. Egeberg had recommended that marijuana temporarily be placed in Schedule I, the most restictive category of drugs, pending the Commission's report. On March 22, 1972, the Commission's chairman, Raymond P. Shafer, presented a report to Congress and the public entitled "Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding," which favored ending marijuana prohibition and adopting other methods to discourage use.
The Commission recommended decriminalization of simple possession, finding:
[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only 'with the greatest reluctance.
The Commission found that the constitutionality of marijuana prohibition was suspect, and that the executive and legislative branches had a responsibility to obey the Constitution, even in the absence of a court ruling to do so:
While the judiciary is the governmental institution most directly concerned with the protection of individual liberties, all policy-makers have a responsibility to consider our constitutional heritage when framing public policy. Regardless of whether or not the courts would overturn a prohibition of possession of marihuana for personal use in the home, we are necessarily influenced by the high place traditionally occupied by the value of privacy in our constitutional scheme.

DEA Reschedules THC from Schedule I to Schedule II
51 FR 17476, May 13, 1986

DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young
DEA Docket No. 86-22, September 6, 1988

"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

UN Reschedules THC from Schedule I to Schedule II
May 24, 1991

DEA Letter
August 17, 1992

DEA Final Ruling on Petition to Reschedule Marijuana
October 23, 1992

DEA Final Ruling on Petition to Reschedule Marijuana
May 16, 1994

Janet Phipps, Director, Iowa Department of General Services
June 2, 1995

Capitol Police will be informed that two participants, George McMahon and Barbara Douglass are authorized to use marijuana by the federal government as well as the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners.

Janet Phipps, Director, Iowa Department of General Services
August 16, 1996

Capitol Police has been informed that two participants, George McMahon and Barbara Douglass, have legal prescriptions for marijuana and are approved to use marijuana by the federal government as well as the Iowa Board of Pharmacy Examiners.

Judge Jon Fister, Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County
State v. Helmers, No. FECR047575, August 13, 1997

What all of this means is that, if the board of pharmacy examiners really concludes marijuana to have no medicinal value, as alleged by the assistant county attorney, the board has an unqualified duty to recommend that the general assembly delete it from Schedule II and revise Schedule I so that it is not excluded even when utilized for medicinal purposes. See Sections 124.203, 124.205, (The Code 1997).

DEA Reschedules THC from Schedule II to Schedule III
64 FR 35928, July 2, 1999

Justice David Wiggins, Iowa Supreme Court
State v. Bonjour, 694 N.W.2d 511, No. 160 / 03-0309, February 11, 2005

If the legislature wanted to preclude the common-law necessity defense by a clear and deliberate choice regarding the values surrounding the medical use of marijuana, it would have repealed the sections of the Code recognizing that marijuana has legitimate medical uses.
The failure of the board of pharmacy examiners to act is not an excuse for this court to refuse to recognize the defense when the legislature clearly recognizes there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana. We do not have to wait for the legislature or the board to negotiate the political minefield regarding the medical use of marijuana. As long as the legislature has not precluded the defense by a clear and deliberate choice, this court has an obligation to allow a defendant to use a necessity defense if the facts support such a defense.