Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is a proud small government conservative, except regarding recreational marijuana. In that case, he approves massive federal funding and endless years of government research to determine if there are any detrimental effects to humans who ingest the plant.

Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva and Iowa Starting Line tiktok
Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva and Iowa Starting Line T

Senator Chuck Grassley was asked about his stance on marijuana by a gaggle of reporters recently. He divided his position into three categories to efficiently compartmentalize his thoughts on the subject.

It's unclear whether legalizing cannibus in Iowa is a campaign topic that will move many voters. Still, it's interesting to note where Iowa's Senior Senator and the likely Judiciary Chairman stand on the issue.

Cannibus and marijuana have become widely decriminalized in states from coast to coast, including New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and California.

You may notice that of the states approving marijuana for recreational use, Illinois is the only midwest state to legalize it. 

However, In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Today, the medical use of cannabis has been legalized in 39 states, including Iowa and Illinois. In addition, the recreational use of cannabis is also legal in DC and 19 states.

Iowa reporters asked Senator Grassley's opinion on marijuana legalization. Grassley stated his answer would be longer than the reporters would want. Then he proceeded to share his views; he put anything dealing with marijuana legalization under three categories. 

  1. Hemp - Grassley said he voted for that in the farm bill of 2018. Therefore his Hemp for commercial purposes is something he strongly supports.
  2. Medical - Grassley generally support but "not on a willy-nilly basis." The Senator's caveat for support depends on more government-funded FDA checks on safety and efficacy. He held a hearing on the Judiciary committee and heard from parents with kids with health issues who, according to Grassley's recollection, came in and said it works, and sometimes it doesn't work, so you have to be very careful of the quality.
  3. Recreation – Grassley does not support it until he has proof that it doesn't lead to "harder" drug usage. He also says you can go to some of the states where they've legalized it, and he points to social problems you've got to consider. He does not elaborate other than to say he has introduced a bill with California's Dianne Feinstein to study the matter. 

"Feinstein and I have legislation that would have a study on the whole issue." - Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley was first elected to Congress in 1975 and to the Senate in 1980 or 42 years ago. Meanwhile, Feinstein joined the Senate in 1992 for a combined 72 years in the United States Senate. 

Grassley and Feinstein have been rubbing elbows on the Judiciary Committee for years. Feinstein also heads up the Senate Narcotics Conference, of which Grassley is a member. 

There is no doubt that the research, with Grassley and Feinstein's experience, speed, and determination, will provide definitive results soon.  In the meantime, don't exhale, but a few more states are about to pass marijuana for recreational purposes. 


"It's important that we have robust research and fully understand the good and the bad of marijuana use, especially in young people and over the long term. My research-focused bill with Senator Feinstein has passed the Senate before. It's the first step before adopting such sweeping reforms."  Grassley Statement 7-14-21


Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva
Photo Credit: Keith B. via Canva

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