Iowa House Democrats have included cannabis legalization in a four-pronged policy agenda unveiled last month.
Democratic lawmakers and new candidates are united around the proposals, which also include protecting abortion rights, investing in public education and lowering costs for Iowans, the Des Moines Register reported.
“We’re ready to do what Iowans are asking us to do,” House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, said during a September a news conference at the Iowa Capitol, according to the news outlet. “It won’t be easy. This is an ambitious and bold proposal that will not happen overnight, but just because it won’t happen overnight doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.”
Democrats have not held a majority in the Iowa House since before the 2010 election, according to the Des Moines Register; the chamber is currently made up of 40 Democrats and 60 Republicans.
Republicans also currently control the Iowa Senate and the governor’s office.
Democratic lawmakers have put forth cannabis legalization proposals in the past, but they did not have the support of the party’s full membership, the Des Moines Register reported.
Konfrst said the “issue is ready for prime time in the state of Iowa,” as evidenced by a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll conducted in March 2021 that showed 54% support for adult-use cannabis legalization.
“We’re going to regulate a safe product that Iowans are already using,” Konfrst said, according to the Des Moines Register. “We’re going to use our new tax revenue to invest in education and our local communities.”