Iowa: Do The Senate Candidates Support Cannabis Legalization?

Even though a recent poll showed Iowans’ support for recreational marijuana legalization reaching new highs, Iowa’s two US Senate candidates have their doubts on the issue.

Michael Franken, the Democratic candidate from Sioux City, has spoken out on the federal legalization of cannabis, its removal as a controlled substance, and addressing incarceration for marijuana-related crimes, “which disproportionately and predominantly affect Black Iowans,” reported Iowa Starting Line. “Black people were 7.3 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people,” reads an ACLU report.

Moreover, Iowa folks can get up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine for possession, even if it’s their first time committing a crime.

“I view the medicinal use of marijuana and the recreational use, controlled much as we do with alcohol, to be absolutely fine and well overdue,” Franken told reporters on Iowa Press in June. “And we should have the federal statutes put in place where money, revenue generated by taxing THC is used for interstate commerce just like it would for anything else.”

On the other hand, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) does not support adult-use legalization. However, Grassley does support hemp production and MMJ, albeit with restrictions, and continually calls for more research on the issue of cannabis consumption. Related to that, in March, Grassley among Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI), sponsored a bill titled “Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act.”

“I am in support of medicinal marijuana, but not on a willy-nilly basis,” Grassley told Starting Line. Grassley clarified that means medical marijuana should go through the Food and Drug Administration for safety and efficacy checks.

“I want to be very careful that it’s got quality,” he said. “And in regards to recreational marijuana, I do not support it at this point because I gotta have proof that it doesn’t lead to higher, harder drugs.”

What Do Iowans Say?

Meanwhile, a majority of Iowans support cannabis legalization. The polling firm Civiqs found that “65% of Iowans think the use of cannabis should be legal with only 24% saying no and 10% saying they’re unsure. Even 42% of Republicans say it should be legal, with 87% of Democrats and 71% of Independents agreeing.”

In addition, a Des Moines Register poll showed that “54% of adults favor legalized recreational marijuana, with 39% opposing it.” More folks, 78%, want Iowa’s medical marijuana program to be expanded.

Picture: Kindel Media by Pexels and Harris Dzulkarnain by Shutterstock.

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