Iowa House Democrats propose to legalize marijuanaPosted by On

Iowa House Democrats unveiled legislation Tuesday to legalize marijuana, citing competition from neighboring states.

“With strong support from Iowans and neighboring states that have already approved, it’s time to legalize marijuana for adult use,” House Minority Whip Rep. Lindsay James of Dubuque said. “The comprehensive bill we are introducing today will keep Iowans safe, 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 unfairly punish Iowans.”

Marijuana legalization is one of the Iowa Democratic Party’s major legislative priorities. The bill, which had not yet been introduced on Tuesday, would legalize the use of recreational marijuana with up to 500 milligrams of THC for adults 21 and older with a valid ID. The legislation is similar to current laws in Missouri, Illinois, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Regarding criminal justice reform, the bill would lower the penalty for possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana to a civil penalty and decrease other possession penalties from felonies to misdemeanors. It would also allow individuals, identified proactively by Iowa courts, to expunge their criminal records of possession two years after a conviction if no violent offenses are committed during that period.

“We’ve listened to Iowans and heard from people of all parties in all corners of the state who…

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