Written by Don Byrd

Via Religion Clause, a petition filed in Iowa State Court claims the state pharmacy board’s refusal to recommend to the legislature a religious exemption from drug laws violated the plaintiff’s religious freedom rights under the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions. Carl Olsen, who practices the Rastafari faith, argues that in light of the existing religious exemption in Iowa law for peyote use, no compelling government interest justifies denying him a similar exemption for cannabis use as his faith requires.

For its part, the Board claimed that Olsen’s exemption request needs to be made to the legislature.

[A]ny recommendations made by the Board would be based on scientific and medical evidence, and not based on religious practices. The Board does not have any expertise in analyzing the use of controlled substances for religious purposes. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for the Board to make any scheduling recommendations that are specific to any religion.

For more, see the Leaf Online’s report.