State Sen. Joe Bolkcom of Iowa announced on Monday that he plans to introduce a bill that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults. Under his proposal, marijuana would be regulated like alcohol by the state government.
“It is time for Iowa to end marijuana prohibition,” Bolkcom said at a news conference on Monday morning.
The senator said that his bill, which he plans to introduce in the coming weeks, would establish a regulatory infrastructure to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis for use by adults at least 21 years of age. The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division would be tasked with cannabis regulation and enforcement under the proposal. Bolkcom said that the legalization of cannabis can provide economic opportunities that will otherwise go to nearby cities in states that already have legal pot or will soon.
“There is an enormous amount of economic activity and job creation potential by regulating marijuana like we do alcohol,” Bolkcom said. “And we can sit by and watch those new businesses and new jobs go to Rock Island and Moline, Illinois, or to Rochester, Minnesota, and have Iowans take their hard-earned money and go to those states.”
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