Iowa lawmakers consider legalizing recreational marijuana

Iowa is about to have two neighboring states where recreational marijuana is legal. South Dakota can begin selling marijuana on July 1. It became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020.

There is a renewed push by elected officials in Iowa to legalize pot. State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, is leading the charge. He wants Iowa to take the leap 15 other states have to regulate recreational marijuana like alcohol.

“It’s time to recognize that marijuana prohibition has really been a failure, not only in Iowa but across the country,” said Bolkcom. “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.”

Bolkcom plans to introduce two bills in the coming weeks. The first would regulate marijuana like alcohol modeled after Illinois’ bill. He also wants to decriminalize a small amount of marijuana for personal use by adults and allow local governments to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana within city limits. Marijuana possession would become a civil fine.

Bolkcom says legalizing recreational marijuana in Iowa would create anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 new jobs and bring in anywhere from 60 to 100 million in state revenue. [Read more at KCCI Des Moines]

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