URBANDALE, Iowa — Cannabis reform is something the United States is seeing happen state-by-state.
On Saturday morning, the Campaign for Sensible Cannabis Laws hosted a reform event to hear from community leaders and politicians on what needs to be done.
“Where we are right now is we are trying to get a debate in the legislature and across the state frankly about cannabis reform,” said Bradley Knott, founder of Campaign for Sensible Cannabis Laws. “For whatever reason Republican leadership refuses to let us have that conversation. So what we are about is demonstrating that there is political support for cannabis reform.”
The campaign has a petition to show the political support for cannabis, that can be found here.
Politicians from a couple parties were at the event and gave speeches as well. There were several state democrats in attendance, and a state representative said that the Iowa House Democrats have a bill they will introduce this session.
“Iowa House Democratic Caucus has adopted a bill to make recreational marijuana legal in Iowa,” said State Representative Marti Anderson, (D) from Des Moines. “We have been working on that for about a year and it is going to be introduced in this upcoming legislature.”
Anderson mentioned that the legislature needs to look at the facts about marijuana and act immediately, noting the potential tax benefits.
Rick Stewart, the Libertarian candidate for governor, was in attendance and gave a speech. He outlined what he would do during his first day in office for cannabis reform.
“I am going to pardon every non-violent drug criminal in the state. I can’t pass a law, I’m only the governor,” said Stewart. “But once the police and the law enforcement authorities know that everybody that they arrest for a non-violent drug offense is going to get a pardon as soon as I hear about it, then they are going to quit arresting people.”
Deidre DeJear, the Democratic candidate for governor, was also at the event and showed her support in a speech.