With Iowa being in bad shape financially, expanding the legality of marijuana in the state could be the solution.
Setting aside prejudice and stereotypes, it makes economic sense to legalize recreational marijuana in Iowa. Given that Iowa is currently in the midst of a bit of a budgetary quandary, it would make sense to try to raise more funds by taxing the sale of marijuana instead of raising other taxes.
Although the state is in no way in as bad of shape as our neighbor to the east (Illinois), a freshly released report by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency predicts a $104 million budgetary shortfall for Iowa’s coming fiscal year. This even takes into account a myriad of prior financial maneuvers that the state Legislature has wielded in an effort to address the fourth-consecutive year of declining farm income, which just so happens to play a rather large part in funding the state government.
So if experts say Iowa is facing a budgetary crisis, what potential options does the state have to balance the budget? It appears rookie Gov. Kim Reynolds will be forced to call the Legislature to a special session so that a deal can be struck. In the special session, the Legislature will then have to either raise revenue or cut spending. Most likely, to get the budget in line, a combination of tax increases and spending cuts will be levied in addition to borrowing some money from “rainy day” savings. But what if the state could find an innovative way to raise revenue so that spending doesn’t have to be cut? What if the state legalized the recreational sale of marijuana, as Nevada just did?
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