DES MOINES — Make recreational marijuana legal and end subsidies for the renewable energy industries. Those were among the policies proposed Friday by Mark David Strauss, the Libertarian candidate in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, during his remarks on the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.
Strauss, a Bettendorf businessman, also called for term limits, a free-market-driven health care system, and immigration reform that strengthens border policy and provides a pathway to citizenship for immigrants brought here illegally as children.
Strauss is running against Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and Republican Chris Peters. Peters also spoke at the Fair on Friday; Loebsack spoke there earlier this week.
“I’m not a Democrat, and I’m not a Republican. I’m an American just like you,” Strauss told a sparse crowd at the Soapbox.
Strauss praised Iowa’s high use of renewable energy — nearly 40 percent, according to federal data. But he also called for an end to government subsidies that assist renewable energy industries like wind and solar.
“I’m glad I live in Iowa (with its high renewable energy use),” Strauss said. “But at the same time it doesn’t mean I want to subsidize that industry. I want industries to stand on their own.”
He said legalizing marijuana for recreational use would create more tax revenue for the state and reduce the prison population.
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“Let’s face it: Alcohol is far worse than marijuana. And opioids are certainly far worse than marijuana,” Strauss said. “Let’s get things straight.”
Strauss’s proposal on term limits would be to change both chambers of Congress to four-year terms — currently House members serve two-year terms and Senators six — and limit all members to two terms.
He also would ban anyone who serves in Congress from later becoming a lobbyist.
On immigration, Strauss proposed elements of both Republican and Democratic policies. He said the U.S. should strengthen immigration enforcement at its borders, but also said children brought here illegally should be afforded a pathway to citizenship.
“Those kids don’t know any other place. They don’t know any other country. Make them U.S. citizens. Give them a pathway to citizenship,” Strauss said.
Strauss also proposed reducing the U.S. military’s footprint across the globe by reducing the number of foreign military bases from roughly 800 to roughly 200.
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