MARIJUANA BILL: Majority Doesn’t Always Rule

A new Des Moines Register Iowa Polls show the majority of residents think lawmakers should take action in two areas: raise the minimum wage and legalize medical marijuana. But that doesn’t mean lawmakers will.

In fact, it appears lawmakers will pass neither measure this legislature. If that proves true, it shows just because a majority wants something that doesn’t mean it will happen.

“Sometimes there’s polls you agree with and don’t agree with,” said Senator Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat. He added, “But at the end of the day, individual members are elected to do their best and make their best judgment about these kinds of issues.”

Bolkcom agrees with the majority of Iowans on both issues. But he said he has stood against the majority on an issue like legalizing the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Representative Rob Taylor, a West Des Moines Republican, knows his party hasn’t endorsed raising the minimum wage. But Taylor points out, he can’t just follow what the majority of the state wants, he has to consider what the people in his home district want.

Taylor said, “It’s pretty straightforward for me. Sometimes they align; sometimes they don’t. But I have to remember the people who elected me in home district 44 (his district). More times than not, they have a similar feelings and opinions as I do.”

Republicans, as a whole, have not stood up against legalizing medical marijuana. But none is pushing the issue as a sponsor.

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