Politics Notebook | Iowa Democrats announce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.Posted by On

Also, the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases.


Jerod Ringwald

The Iowa House convenes during the first day of the 90th Iowa legislative session at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. The house swore in Pat Grassley as speaker of the house.

Iowa House Democrats unveiled their plan to legalize recreational marijuana, expand the medical marijuana program, and expunge the records of minor non-violent marijuana possession charges during a press conference on Tuesday.

If passed, Iowa would join 21 other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, including two of Iowa’s neighbors — Illinois and Missouri.

Under the proposed legislation, the sale of recreational marijuana would have a 10 percent excise tax, which would be used to fund local schools, public safety, and mental health resources.

Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, a Democrat from Windsor Heights who leads the Iowa House Democrats, argued that Iowa should reap the benefit of the sales tax revenue other states are gaining from the sale of legal marijuana.

In 2022, the Colorado Department of Revenue estimated that it collected over $325 million in sales tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana.

Rep. Lindsey James, a Democrat from Dubuque and the House Democrats Whip, said the bill would also set quality and safety standards for the drug sold legally in the state. Creating a safe supply of the drug that many Iowans are already…

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