Three Democrats in the Iowa Senate are proposing a constitutional amendment to legalize Cannabis possession in the state for adults 21 or older.
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, said it’s time to regulate marijuana like alcohol. “Marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure,” Bolkcom said. “It’s ending across America because it’s caused far more harm than good.”
Bolkcom hosted an online news conference Tuesday to discuss the concept of “basically (beginning) to treat marijuana like we treat a six-pack of beer.”
‘A Lot Of Iowans Will See Some Benefit’
The state senator said more than 4,300 Iowans were convicted of marijuana possession in 2020. He added that Iowa taxpayers paid millions to cover the costs of their prison time.
“A lot of Iowans will see some benefit from essentially eradicating those expenses from our tax bills,” Bolkcom said.
Senator Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, cited a Des Moines Register poll showing a majority of Iowans support legalizing marijuana. She said Iowans prefer than approach over continuing to pursue criminal charges against those who smoke or possess Cannabis.
“Iowans are tired of filling our prisons with nonviolent offenders, traumatizing families with separation and taking away opportunities for too many young adults for something that is legal is nearly half the states in our country,” she said.
‘Iowa Is Getting Left Behind’
Senator Sarah Trone Garriott, a Democrat from West Des Moines, indicated 19 states now let residents use marijuana for a wide range of medical conditions or for adult use.
“The world is changing around us and Iowa is getting left behind,” Trone Garriott said.
The three Democrats said Governor Kim Reynolds and Republicans who control a majority of seats in the Iowa Legislature have resisted expansion of Iowa’s very limited medical Cannabis program. The marijuana products available today in Iowa have THC levels that make them ineffective as medicine, according to Bolkcom.
“It’s time for Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans to allow voters the freedom to decide,” Bolkcom said. “It’s time to hear their voices and bring marijuana reform to Iowa.”
Tough Road Ahead
It takes years to amend the Iowa Constitution.
This proposal faces a particularly tough road ahead in a conservative, Republican-led Legislature. Introduced as a resolution the three Democrats in the state senate, has zero Republican co-sponsors.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is Braud Zaun. Senator Zaun haughtily declared he has “no intentions” of even bringing the bill up for a vote.
Senator Zaun, ‘Supporting Law Enforcement,’ Loudly Opposes Legalization
“Gimmicks like a constitutional amendment on recreational marijuana do a better job of illustrating the lack of ideas Senate Democrats have to solve the problems of Iowans than any response I have,” snapped Senator Brad Zaun, a particularly obnoxious Republican from Urbandale. “We will continue cutting taxes, supporting law enforcement, and empowering parents in their children’s education.”
By “empowering parents,” of course, the benighted center means cutting funds for public education. And by “cutting taxes,” make no mistake that he means cutting other public services as well — except for “law enforcement” of Iowa’s backward-ass marijuana laws, of course.
Senator Zaun’s dumb, loud mouthed hick ass has no problem at all with THAT, don’t you see. Oddly, he also had no problem getting caught with a handgun at the Des Moines Airport. Or, incidentally, with trying to cripple educational funding in his state. Gotta keep those voters ignorant, because dumb votes for dumb…