Iowa GOP Strongly Against Recreational Pot Use Despite Public Support
Marijuana use is not a taboo topic anymore. Heck, 18 states, Guam, and Washington D.C. have legalized its recreational use.
For whatever reason, a significant number of those representing the republican party remain vehemently against legalizing the drug, whether it be at the state or national level. Some of that republican base is here in Iowa.
For example, this is what Representative Steven Holt of Denison, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said to the Iowa Capital Dispatch regarding the decriminalization of weed and its legalization:
I think there needs to be a deterrent in the law, but I understand the logic of having discussions about what the appropriate penalties should be and that sort of thing. But in terms of making marijuana legal, that is something I would never support.
Per the Des Moines Register, "More than half of Iowans support legalizing marijuana for recreational uses, and more than three-quarters support expanding the drug's use for medical purposes, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows."
In response to the statistic, Holt said lawmakers don't "govern based on opinion polls."
I'm sorry -- I have to interject here.
'Never support?' Get out of here. Steven Holt is the epitome of why 70+-year-old people should not be in politics.
Get with the times. It's not dangerous. You can't overdose on marijuana. Generally speaking, those who are high are harmless, happy, and hungry. They buy food. That stimulates the economy if you didn't know that, Steven.
Oh, and regulating its sale would make drug offenses drop significantly, thus decreasing the number of people in jail, and our spending in that department would drop. Not only that, but the taxes states would take in would be astronomical.
According to Marijuana Moment, "States that have legalized marijuana have collectively garnered more than $10 billion in cannabis tax revenue since the first legal sales started in 2014, according to a report released by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) on Thursday."
And all it took to find that information was a simple Google! Oh, I'm sorry Mr. Holt. Google is a site you search things on to find information. A site is on the internet... What's the internet? Oh, never mind.
Luckily, Holt doesn't represent the entire legislature in Iowa. Iowa City democrat and state senator Joe Bolkcom has been for the legalization of marijuana's recreational use in the state for quite some time.
This is what he had to say on the Senate floor about republicans' refusal to consider an amendment to the state constitution:
Governor (Kim) Reynolds and Senate Republicans’ failure to debate or even tell us why they are opposed to reform is insulting. You should tell Iowans why you don’t trust them to have legal access to marijuana like tens of millions of other Americans.
The 18 states that have legalized the recreational use of pot include the following:
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico