As we shared in late December of last year, Joe Bolkcom, Janet Petersen, and Sarah Trone Garriott proposed an unconventional route to the legalization of the drug. The trio wanted to introduce a constitutional amendment during the next legislative session that would treat marijuana like alcohol in Iowa.

To be exact, the proposed constitutional amendment says that “the possession, growth, cultivation, processing, manufacture, preparation, packaging, transferal, consumption, and retail sale and purchase of cannabis, or products created from or including cannabis, by persons 21 years of age or older, shall be lawful," according to Marijuana Moment

Bolkcom, who represents District 43, said this to reporters:

We are proposing this constitutional amendment for voters to decide because Republicans have repeatedly refused to engage in any meaningful debate about marijuana reform. Governor [Kim] Reynolds is strongly opposed to marijuana reform and, of the 92 Republicans currently in the Iowa General Assembly, there is not a single member that has expressed support for regulating marijuana like alcohol.

Garriott referenced the fact that surrounding states have marijuana readily accessible for their residents. She claims that because of their proximity, Iowa has all the difficulties while reaping none of the benefits of its legalization. She said the following in a press release:

We are missing out on new, significant tax revenue, tax dollars that we could put to work in our state. We are missing out on new jobs, and young people are moving elsewhere for the opportunities in this industry.

Republicans remain in firm opposition to making the drug readily available to the public.

Petersen added to what Garriott and Bolkcom had to say in a statement:

Iowa’s outdated, old-school drug policies are failing Iowans in rural parts of the state and urban areas as well. It’s time to move forward with better drug policies that uplift Iowans instead of criminalizing them. Republicans have said time after time during Constitutional Amendment debates that they trust the voters to decide. We believe it is time to trust Iowa voters. Let’s give Iowans the freedom to vote on this issue. I encourage Iowans to contact their legislators in the coming days to urge them to push for the debate and passage of this Constitutional Amendment in the upcoming session.

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