VIDEO: Iowa to consider two bills legalizing cannabis

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) — Two bills will be introduced to the Iowa legislature, pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

In the coming weeks, State Senator Joe Bolkcom plans to introduce both bills.

The first would regulate marijuana like alcohol.

The second would decriminalize a small amount of marijuana for personal use by adults, also allowing local governments to implement this within city limits. Twenty-six states have already passed similar bills.

According to Bolkcom, legalizing recreational marijuana in Iowa would generate four to five thousand new jobs and bring in anywhere from $60 to $100 million in state revenue.

“It’s time to recognize that marijuana prohibition has really been a failure, not only in Iowa but across the country,” Bolkcom said. “I think people are realizing that it’s caused more damage to continue to do what we’re doing than to essentially regulate marijuana like we do regulate alcohol.”

Bolkcom claims he has a list of 44 elected officials who have pledged to support these bills.

But, not everyone is on board. State Senator Brad Zaun says he’s against the legalization of cannabis because of the potential impact it could have on younger generations.

In an article in the Iowa City Press-Citizen Bolkcom acknowledged “reform will not come easy.”

“If you think marijuana prohibition has caused more harm than good, is a costly waste of your money, is a government infringement on your liberty, or think Iowa’s unequal enforcement of marijuana laws is unjust, it’s time to speak up for change.”

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