Iowa Democratic Office Holders Push to Legalize Marijuana

IOWA CITY, Iowa - A group of of state and local Democrats are spearheading a push to legalize recreational marijuana.

A ZOOM video conference Wednesday was hosted by Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague, and featured comments in favor of loosening marijuana laws from office holders representing cities, counties and the state.

Senator Joe Bolkcom said he'll introduce three proposals in the legislature. One would mostly legalize marijuana. Another would decriminalize pot at the state level and expunge records for offenders with small amounts of marijuana. The third bill would give local governments authority to decriminalize small amounts.

Bolkcom admitted there's no support for his proposals from Republicans, who control the state legislature

The video conference was titled "Iowa Should Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol".

The office holders think Iowa's current laws criminalizing marijuana are not fairly enforced, resulting in more convictions among People of Color.

They referenced an often quoted ACLU study from last year, which showed that black people are 7.3 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession when both groups use it at about the same rate.

The 2021 Iowa legislative session begins Jan. 11.

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