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Iowa Democrats say now is the time to legalize marijuana

DES MOINES - Iowa Democrats are saying it's time to legalize marijuana use here and most Iowans favor the move.

DES MOINES – Iowa Democrats are saying it’s time to legalize marijuana use here and most Iowans favor the move.

According to a bulletin from Iowa Democrats:

According to a Des Moines Register poll, 54% of Iowans support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and over 75% support use for medical purposes.

Earlier this month, President Biden, along with the U.S. Justice Department announced they will formally move to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug under federal law.

It’s time to listen to Iowans and prioritize an overhaul of Iowa’s policy on marijuana.

Iowa House Democrats have proposed a comprehensive marijuana legalization package that expands the state’s medical marijuana program, while safely legalizing for adult use.

Legalizing marijuana will keep Iowans safe through secure regulation, stop our tax dollars from going to neighboring states, improve the quality of life for Iowans suffering from chronic illnesses, and stop wasting state resources to punish Iowans unfairly.

The plan from Democratic lawmakers allows Iowans over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana for recreational use from a licensed retail store. There is a 10% excise tax and a 1% local option surcharge with the revenue going to public schools, mental health services, and local public safety.

Most importantly, the proposal would also regulate a safe product that many Iowans already use. According to the American Addiction Centers, unregulated marijuana can be laced with a multitude of psychoactive drugs with varied effects.

Other provisions include decreasing penalties for marijuana possession and expunging records for non-violent marijuana convictions. Iowa ranked 5th in the nation for having the largest racial disparities in arrests for marijuana possession in 2018. The bill also expands Iowa’s medical cannabis program to get relief to more Iowans with chronic pain.

During the 2024 session, Republican lawmakers took steps to regulate hemp-derived products for registered retailers, allowing only 10mg per container. House Democrats supported the 21-year age requirement for hemp-derived THC products but believe it’s time to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use like other states. Almost all states have passed some form of medical marijuana program, and 24 states have adopted both medical and adult recreational programs.

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