Could Iowa Soon Legalize Recreational Marijuana?
An Iowa Senator has introduced legislation that would fully legalize the use of marijuana in the state of Iowa. Democrat Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City announced his Ending Iowa Marijuana Prohibition bill in a press conference on Monday.
Under the proposal, marijuana would be regulated and taxed just like alcohol and could be purchased by anyone 21 years of age or older. In his press release, Bolkcom said "the 80 million Americans living in states that already regulate marijuana like alcohol live like we do here in Iowa. The only difference is that adults in those states can legally purchase and consume marijuana."
Bolkcom pointed out that border states like Minnesota and Illinois are moving towards legalizing marijuana and that Iowa stands to lose out on jobs and millions of tax dollars if they don't follow suit. Bolkcom plans on have the legislation drafted and debated in the next two weeks, but acknowledges it won't likely pass as Republicans control the state Legislature.
11 states in the U.S. have fully legalized both medicinal and recreational marijuana. Michigan is the closet state to Iowa to have it fully legalized. Iowa recently began selling medicinal forms of the drug but state laws still remain strict and need reforming.