Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy Director Steve Lukan says marijuana use in Iowa in on the rise, in part, because more shipments are arriving from out of state.
“Any time you see increased access and increased supply, you’re going to see an increase in abuse as well. So, we have some real concerns about that trend,” Lukan said.
A report released earlier this month shows marijuana manufacturing, distribution and use are increasing in Iowa. Just over 26% of all Iowans screened or admitted for drug treatment last year said marijuana was their primary substance of abuse.
In Colorado, it is now legal for anyone 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It’s also legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores. “One of the things people are looking at real closely right now is how Colorado is going to rectify itself with the federal government,” Lukan said.
“We do have the Controlled Substances Act at the federal level, which would still keep marijuana a Schedule One drug. I think there’s going to have to be some reconciliation between state law and the federal government on how that will proceed. That will answer a lot of those questions.”
State Representative Bruce Hunter, a Democrat from Des Moines, recently stated he would introduce a bill that would decriminalize pot possession as long as those caught with it aren’t selling it.
Other Iowa lawmakers have expressed support for a medical marijuana measure. However, both bills would like face tough opposition in the legislature next year and Governor Branstad has said he would veto any bill that would legalize marijuana in any capacity.