State of Iowa Archives: on Drugs


Doug Butzier: Legalize marijuana & all drugs; $80B wasted on War on Drugs

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Never legalize marijuana"?

A: I'm in favor of legalizing all drugs! We spend ~$80 Billion each year in the war on drugs, which is about half of all law enforcement expenditures. Just because you think it's wrong for someone to use marijuana, doesn't give you the right to demand legislation to try and stop it. Prohibition has never worked and only breeds violent crime in our cities and in Central and South America.

Source: E-mail interview: 2014 Iowa Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Sep 17, 2014

Joni Ernst: Voted to legalize medical cannabis oil

Yesterday the Iowa Senate approved by 36 votes to 12 a bill to legalize the use of medical cannabis oil for treating certain seizure conditions. The roll call in the Senate Journal shows that all 26 Iowa Senate Democrats voted for the cannabis oil bill, joined by ten Republicans [including] Joni Ernst.

During the floor debate, several Republicans warned that passing the bill would send the wrong message to teenagers, leading to more recreational use of marijuana. That's hard to fathom, since the bill does not legalize smoking marijuana, even for terminally or chronically ill Iowans who could benefit from medical cannabis in that form.

Key Iowa House Republicans and Governor Terry Branstad have made clear that for now, they would consider only a bill to allow access to medical cannabis oil.

A sign of how far the political ground has shifted in the medical marijuana debate: Joni Ernst is in fiercely competitive GOP primaries for U.S. Senate, and voted for this bill.

Source: BleedingHeartland.com blog on 2014 Iowa Senate race Apr 25, 2014

Terry Branstad: Medical cannabis oil ok, but nothing more

Yesterday the Iowa Senate approved by 36 votes to 12 a bill to legalize the use of medical cannabis oil for treating certain seizure conditions. The roll call in the Senate Journal shows that all 26 Iowa Senate Democrats voted for the cannabis oil bill, joined by ten Republicans [including] Joni Ernst.

During the floor debate, several Republicans warned that passing the bill would send the wrong message to teenagers, leading to more recreational use of marijuana. That's hard to fathom, since the bill does not legalize smoking marijuana, even for terminally or chronically ill Iowans who could benefit from medical cannabis in that form.

Key Iowa House Republicans and Governor Terry Branstad have made clear that for now, they would consider only a bill to allow access to medical cannabis oil.

A sign of how far the political ground has shifted in the medical marijuana debate: Joni Ernst is in fiercely competitive GOP primaries for U.S. Senate, and voted for this bill.

Source: BleedingHeartland.com blog on 2014 Iowa Governor race Apr 25, 2014

Chris Dodd: Reduce sentencing disparity for crack cocaine retroactively

Q: The US Sentencing Commission recently limited the disparity in sentencing guidelines for those convicted of crimes involving crack cocaine versus crimes involving powder cocaine. Should that change be retroactive?

CLINTON: I believe weíve got to decrease the disparity that exists. But I have problems with retroactivity.

DODD: Iíd be inclined to say yes on the retroactivity.

EDWARDS: Iím not just inclined to say yes; the answer is yes, absolutely; it should be retroactive.

KUCINICH: Yes.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: Reduce sentencing disparity for crack cocaine retroactively

Q: The US Sentencing Commission recently limited the disparity in sentencing guidelines for those convicted of crimes involving crack cocaine versus crimes involving powder cocaine. Should that change be retroactive?

CLINTON: I believe weíve got to decrease the disparity that exists. But I have problems with retroactivity.

DODD: Iíd be inclined to say yes on the retroactivity.

EDWARDS: Iím not just inclined to say yes; the answer is yes, absolutely; it should be retroactive.

KUCINICH: Yes.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Reduce sentencing disparity for crack, but not retroactively

Q: The US Sentencing Commission recently limited the disparity in sentencing guidelines for those convicted of crimes involving crack cocaine versus crimes involving powder cocaine. Should that change be retroactive?

A: I believe weíve got to decrease the disparity that exists. It is really unconscionable that someone who uses five grams of crack cocaine, compared to 500 grams of powder cocaine would face such disparate sentencing. And itís further compounded because the possession of crack cocaine really is unique in the way that it leads directly to prison for so many people. So I am going to tackle the disparity. I think it definitely needs to be prospective on principle. I have problems with retroactivity. I think that itís something that a lot of communities will be concerned about as well, so letís tackle this disparity, letís take it on. The sentencing commission hasnít come forward yet with its specific recommendation but Iím looking forward to seeing it.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

John Edwards: Reduce sentencing disparity for crack cocaine retroactively

Q: The US Sentencing Commission recently limited the disparity in sentencing guidelines for those convicted of crimes involving crack cocaine versus crimes involving powder cocaine. Should that change be retroactive?

CLINTON: I believe weíve got to decrease the disparity that exists. But I have problems with retroactivity.

DODD: Iíd be inclined to say yes on the retroactivity.

EDWARDS: Iím not just inclined to say yes; the answer is yes, absolutely; it should be retroactive.

KUCINICH: Yes.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Art Small: Consider loosening enforcement of marijuana laws

The state can consider loosening its enforcement of its marijuana laws as some states have done or are considering doing. California is said to have saved $100 million a year in enforcement costs by relaxing its laws. A recent article on marijuana laws observed: ďPROHIBITION supposedly divided America into three parts: wets, drys and hypocrites. Cannabis is now doing the same. One in three adult Americans admits to having tried the herb.Ē In short, I can find no quick fixes. There is no silver bullet.
Source: Governorís study on Crime and Punishment in Iowa Dec 31, 2002

Art Small: Drug treatment more effective than incarceration

More emphasis must be placed on treatment programs, both within the institutions and within the communities. Treatment and ďcoerced abstinenceĒ substance abuse programs can work, despite arguments to the contrary. True, the success rate and the effect on recidivism is not what we would like it to be. But the solid evidence shows that treatment is cost effective. Dollars put into treatment pay a good return. ďTreatment is 15 to 17 times more effective in reducing crime than incarceration.Ē
Source: Governorís study on Crime and Punishment in Iowa Dec 31, 2002

Jack Hatch: Decriminalize medicinal marijuana

Source: 2002 Iowa Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

Bill Bradley: No mandatory sentencing for first-time drug offenders

The first thing I would do [to address unequal justice for young African-American males] is bring the difference between crack and cocaine much closer together. I would then try to take a look at mandatory first-time, nonviolent drug offenders and say, does mandatory sentencing make sense there? I donít think it does.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Elizabeth Dole: Applauds community-based fight against drug epidemic

We must choose to return safety to our streets and moral seriousness to our war on drugs. Drug use among our youth is up 141% among teenagers in recent years. I know, Senator Grassley, that youíve put together an anti-drug coalition, called Face It Together (FIT), which seeks to bring people together in a community-based approach to fight this epidemic; parents, students, businesses, our religious leaders, law enforcement, and the media. And I applaud you efforts.
Source: Speech at Iowa State University, 2/15/99 Feb 15, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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