Iowa Democrats Lead Charge To Legalize Marijuana

Iowa Democratic Party leaders from city councilmembers to state senators are calling for the legalization of marijuana, a change that would bring the Hawkeye state’s cannabis policy in line with a growing number of its neighbors. State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, plans to introduce three separate reform bills in the upcoming weeks, according to media reports.

“It’s time to recognize that marijuana prohibition has really been a failure, not only in Iowa but across the country,” Bolkcom said. “It’s just wrecked too many people’s lives in the form of a criminal record that really sets their lives and their family’s lives in a downward cycle of poverty.”

The first of Bolkcom’s three bills would tax and regulate cannabis similar to alcohol in a plan modeled after neighboring Illinois’ marijuana legalization bid, which went into effect at the beginning of 2020. The senator said that legalizing recreational cannabis in Iowa could generate up to 5,000 new jobs in the state.

“The potential here is to create a lot of jobs and new revenue for things like mental health, substance abuse treatment, and education funding,” said

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