Think Legalizing All Drugs Is Crazy? Check Out the Iowa GOP’s Platform

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Photo illustration: Gavin Aronsen/Iowa Informer

The Iowa Democratic Party has been getting a fair amount of flak after its grassroots adopted a platform plank that supports “legalizing all drugs” at the party’s state convention last weekend. “‘Legalizing All Drugs’ Makes The Iowa Dems Platform Too Easy To Ignore,” read an Iowa Starting Line headline. Probably so, even if the reasoning behind the plank’s inclusion echoed fairly common progressive arguments for criminal justice reform.

But if you were “taken aback” by the call to legalize drugs, as Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said he was, it’s worth taking a look back at the party platform Republicans approved at their state convention last month. They didn’t go as far as Democrats on drugs, only supporting “legalizing cannabis oil for medical use and industrial hemp for commercial use.” But the rest of the platform contains a smorgasbord of homophobia, working-class hostilities, science denialism, and conspiracy theories, among other things. Here’s a look at some of the Iowa GOP’s loonier planks.

Amend the Constitution to strip gays and lesbians of their equal marriage rights:

We support an amendment to both the U.S. and the Iowa Constitutions defining and supporting the honored institution of marriage as the legal union between one natural man and one natural woman.

Take away the LGBT community’s protections against wage discrimination, unfair housing practices, and other civil rights violations:

We call for the repeal of sexual orientation in the Iowa Civil Rights Code and reject any additional similar legislation to Local, State or National Code.

Allow employees to deny contraception to women or services to members of the LGBT community if it conflicts with their religious beliefs:

We support “Conscience Clause” legislation so that no person, business, or organization can be penalized for its exercise of religious freedom by not providing services that violates their religious beliefs.

Outlaw abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother:

We move the Iowa Republican Party aggressively support a Life Begins at Conception Bill without exceptions.

Make illegal a practice that is already illegal to prevent Planned Parenthood from doing something it was falsely accused of doing:

We believe the selling, brokering or marketing of aborted fetal tissue should be illegal.

Bring back abstinence-only sex-ed:

We support legislation that would prohibit any organization, (in example, Planned Parenthood), from entering public school properties for the purpose of promoting promiscuous behavior and abortion products, videos, or printed material.

Turn a blind eye to the “alleged,” internationally recognized problem of climate change:

We oppose all mandates associated with alleged global warming, or climate control.

Protect America against a New World Order conspiracy theory:

We oppose the United Nations’ Agenda 21 plan, which restricts or destroys the property rights of Americans under the guise of environmentalist initiatives.

Support the continued decline of the middle class by eliminating public sector unions:

We call for legislation that would eliminate all public sector unions.

Continue to advocate for voting laws that disenfranchise minorities and the poor:

We believe that only US citizens bearing proper photo ID should be allowed to vote.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.