The History of Marijuana in Iowa

The United States saw a decade-long wave of marijuana decriminalization during the early twentieth century. Iowa has a history with cannabis that dates back to this time as early as 1921, when the state passed legislation banning all forms of marijuana. Some experts argue that the state’s history with marijuana started with this legislation prohibiting marijuana, though it actually dates back to 1923. Now, Iowa is known for having some of the harshest marijuana laws in the United States, though new legislation is hoping to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

Even though Iowa has some of the the strictest marijuana laws, lawmakers have been fighting for decriminalization and legalization for nearly a century. During the 1970s,  the state introduced a number of decriminalization bills that all failed despite the potential inclusion in a standard criminal code revision. A few years later, Iowa allowed medical use of marijuana for a therapeutic research center, intended to run from 1979 to 1981, the research program was never implemented for this time. Iowa legalized medical marijuana in 2014, in the form of CBD oil, only for patients with seizure disorders, though now legislators have just implemented several improvements to expand the program, so maybe full legalization in Iowa is feasible in the near future.


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