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Two Marijuana Bills Introduced in Iowa Show Post Election Momentum

iowa rally

Over the course of the past year, there have been polls conducted on a daily basis in order to gauge the mindset of the American public.  Most of these polls ended up being accurate but only the actual vote of the people provides the final word.  The victories in Washington, Colorado, Michigan, and Massachusetts show a changing electorate, an electorate that no longer wants to continue our failed marijuana policy.

In Iowa, we are seeing the momentum from the election spill over.  Iowa is known for its impact on presidential elections, as it is the first event to kick off the campaigns.  President Obama credits Iowa as a main reason for his initial 2008 election, as she shocked the political world at the time and defeated Hilary Clinton.  Even this year, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama fought very hard for its 6 swing electoral votes and the president made it his final campaign stop.

Lawmakers have now introduced two bills that would drastically reform Iowa’s marijuana laws.  Iowa state Rep. Bruce Hunter plans to introduce a bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession for personal use.  The law would not protect those selling cannabis.  Additionally, Rep. Hunter also plans to bring back a medical marijuana bill that has not previously been passed.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has threatened to veto any bill that would legalize marijuana in any capacity.  It is unclear if decriminalization or a compromise on that front would be something the governor would consider.

Even as Governor Branstad displays his reluctance to adjust with the times, momentum around the country has clearly shifted.  Steve Morrow, president of Iowa’s NORML chapter agrees.  He said the recent votes in Colorado and Washington “helped the cause”.   Iowa may be small state from population standpoint, but it has a tremendous impact on American politics.  Even if Iowa does not pass new legislation now, change certainly appears to be on the horizon.  Presidential politics now encompass the almost entire four year period between elections, and if Iowa changes, those seeking the White House will also have to change.

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