Libertarian Rick Stewart calls for legal psychedelics, one-room schoolhouses

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Libertarian Rick Stewart made a wide-ranging pitch for his gubernatorial campaign at the Iowa State Fair that included: legalizing psychedelics, eliminating government mandates and returning to a "one-room schoolhouse" school system.

"Almost everybody is a libertarian, whether they know it or not," he said. "Because libertarian just means that you're free. You're free to do what you'd like to do, when you do not interfere with what other people would like to do."

Stewart spoke to crowd that included several of his grandchildren among supporters at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox.

His top issue, he said, is ending the war on drugs and allowing the use of psychedelics for therapy. Stewart was arrested in May at a psychedelics protest in Washington, D.C. He briefly suspended his campaign after the arrest, but decided to continue his candidacy.

"If I'm the governor, I'm going to make it legal in Iowa, and I don't care what the feds say," he said.

Stewart also spoke about the need to change Iowa's education system to allow for more parental control. Stewart wants Iowa to return to a "one-room schoolhouse" model, where parents can directly choose their children's teachers.

"Let's go back to something that used to work better," he said. "All we have to do is copy what we used to do."

Stewart, who has run for other Iowa offices before, is running against incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, and Democrat Deidre DeJear for Iowa's highest office. In a July Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, 5% of likely midterm voters said they plan to support Stewart.

DeJear spoke on the Soapbox a few hours after Stewart did. Reynolds' declined the Register's Soapbox invitation.

In an interview with the Register, Stewart said he's going to keep spreading the word about his campaign through parades, radio and television ads and billboards.

He's also newly popular from RAGBRAI, he said, where he served free gin and tonics to bike riders.

"I would venture to say that I may well have been the king of RAGBRAI," he said.

More: View candidate speeches, photos and read articles from the 2022 Soapbox

Katie Akin is a politics reporter for the Register. Reach her at or at 410-340-3440. Follow her on Twitter at @katie_akin.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa Libertarian Rick Stewart talks psychedelics, education