Iowa Democrats have included adult-use cannabis legalization on their election agenda as part of the party’s “people over politics” electoral plan, Iowa Capital Dispatch reports. The plan also includes lowering the cost of living, protecting abortion access, and investing in public schools.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Deidre DeJear also included cannabis reforms in her campaign platform, saying that adult-use sales in the state could generate as much as $50 million annually in new state revenues.
“Regulating legal use of cannabis for people 21 years of age and older provides the opportunity for our state to ensure the product on the market is as safe and reliable as possible. Regulation will also help to realign our criminal justice system which will free up law enforcement resources for more pressing challenges affecting our communities such as gun violence and protecting our children. We will work to remedy the harm, both past, and present, caused by the criminalization of cannabis which has disproportionately impacted marginalized groups like people of color and low-socioeconomic groups. As we work towards these goals, we will ensure that people of color and small businesses have a strong stake in the inevitable economic windfalls of legalization.” — DeJear’s campaign website
A March 2021 Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll found that 54% of adults in the state-supported adult-use cannabis legalization, with 39% opposed and 6% unsure. Democrats in the Legislature have pushed for the reforms but could not get the support of either their Republican counterparts or Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Reynolds’ anti-legalization position was the focus of a recent ad by libertarian candidate for governor Rick Stewart.
According to FiveThirtyEight polling data, Reynolds maintains a commanding lead over her Democratic challenger, leading by as much as 17 points.
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