DES MOINES, IOWA — As every election goes by, a new state is added to the list of having legal recreational and medical marijuana.
House Democrats introduced their plan for marijuana reform on Tuesday at the Statehouse. Their plan includes several different aspects including legalizing recreational marijuana, reforming the penalty system for marijuana possession, and revamping the medical marijuana policy currently in the state.
“54% of Iowans say they favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use, it is across party lines, it is across where you live in the state rural, urban, suburban and it is time to do this,” said House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, (D), District 32 from Windsor Heights.
The plan would allow those 21 years or older to purchase marijuana from licensed retailers in the state. It imposes a 10% excise tax on marijuana product sales and it will contribute to Iowa schools, mental health services, and public safety.
The bill would also expunge the records of individuals two years after a marijuana possession conviction if it was not associated with a violent offense. Plus House Democrats want to revamp the medical marijuana program in the state.
With states surrounding Iowa growing support for recreational use, democratic lawmakers say that it is time to bring it to Iowa.
“I will say in 2021 alone Colorado’s marijuana industry generated $423 million in general tax revenue. Imagine that kind of revenue for Iowa’s schools, mental health services, public safety,” said House Minority Whip Lindsay James, (D), District 71 from Dubuque.
The end of the first funnel is next week, meaning bills need to be out of committee to still be alive for the session. This bill will need to work quickly through the process and would need to gain significant Republican support to have a chance.