While Iowa has sat on its hands, producing only medical marijuana with inadequate THC strength, other states have forged ahead on legalization, both for medical marijuana and recreational use. It is long past time for Iowa to do it. Why should other states be reaping profits when we get none? Why should people be going to jail/prison (disproportionately people of color) for possession of relatively small amounts of a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol? Prohibition has proven costly and it’s a failed policy. We need to change course.
Pass the Constitutional Amendment proposed by Democratic State Senators Bolkcom, Petersen and Trone-Garriott to propose a constitutional amendment that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Iowa for people ages 21 and older.
Regulate it like alcohol (really).
Recognize that more than 4,300 people were convicted of marijuana possession just in 2020. It costs people time, money, jail and even prison. It’s a waste of judicial resources to criminalize it and enforcement has been inequitable.
Those who have been imprisoned and/or jailed for non-violent drug use, including small amounts of marijuana, should be released and their records expunged.
Public opinion favors legalization. According to a 2021 A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll , 54% of adults in the state favor legalization for recreational use. 18 states now allow adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
With an eye to a state Republican party intent on cutting taxes, states that have legalized marijuana have reaped annual tax revenue windfalls of hundreds of millions of dollars.