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Iowa Marijuana Laws

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Penalty Details

Marijuana is a schedule I hallucinogenic substance under the Iowa Controlled Substances Act.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.204(4)(m) 

Possession for Personal Use

For first offenders, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months of imprisonment. Second offenders are subject to a fine of $315-$1875 and/or up to 1 year of imprisonment. Third offenses are considered aggravated misdemeanors and are punishable by a fine of $625-$6250 and/or up to 2 years of imprisonment.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.401(c)(5)
  • Iowa Code § 903.1 
  • Iowa Code § 124.409 

Offenders who are chronic abusers of marijuana may be sent to rehab. If this program is successfully completed the court may place the defendant on probation.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.409 

Possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, secondary school, public park, or school bus is punishable by the penalty for possession and 100 hours of community service.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.401B 

Cultivation or Distribution

Distribution of marijuana includes possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

Delivery or possession with intent to deliver one half ounce or less of plant-form marijuana without remuneration is equivalent to simple possession in Iowa, with penalties for a first offense being a misdemeanor with incarceration of no more than 6 months, and a fine of no more than $1000 dollars. Subsequent convictions for delivery without remuneration will be punished more severely, just as subsequent simple possession convictions would be.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.410

Distribution or cultivation of 50 kilograms of marijuana or less is a class D felony punishable by a fine of $750-$7,500 and up to 5 years of imprisonment. Distribution or cultivation of more than 50-100 kilograms of marijuana is a class C felony and is punishable by a fine of $1,000-$50,000 and up to 10 years of imprisonment. Distribution or cultivation of more than 100-1,000 kilograms of marijuana is a class B felony and is punishable by a fine of $5,000-$100,000 and up to 25 years of imprisonment. Distribution or cultivation of more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana is a class B felony and is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000,000 and up to 50 years of imprisonment.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.401 

If a person over the age of 18 solicits a person under the age of 18 to assist in the distribution or cultivation of marijuana this act is punishable as a class C felony by a fine of $1,000-$50,000 and up to 10 years of imprisonment.

If a person over the age of 18 distributes marijuana to someone under the age of 18 this constitutes a Class B felony punishable by a fine of $5,000-$100,000 and up to 25 years of imprisonment, in addition a mandatory minimum term of 5 years will apply. If the sale to a minor occurs within 1,000 feet of a park, elementary school, middle school, or marked school bus a mandatory minimum term of 10 years will apply.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.406 

Hash & Concentrates

Iowa classifies Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols separately as hallucinogenic substances in Schedule 1 of the Iowa Controlled Substances Schedule. For the purposes of criminal justice, plant Marijuana and all Tetrahydrocannabinol derivatives thereof, including hashish and marijuana concentrates, are defined as Marijuana and punished equally in all but one circumstance. The only circumstance where plant-form Marijuana is treated differently is for a charge of delivery or possession with intent to deliver one half ounce or less without remuneration. In that circumstance, plant-form marijuana is punished equivalent to the penalties for simple possession, whereas delivery, or possession with intent to deliver an equivalent amount of hashish, hash oil, or other derivatives are punished in accordance with the regular penalties for distribution.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.101 
  • Iowa Code § 124.204
  • Iowa Code § 124.401 
  • Iowa Code § 124.410 

Paraphernalia

Possession, distribution, or manufacture of marijuana paraphernalia is simple misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment. Paraphernalia includes any item that is knowingly used to ingest, inhale, manufacture, enhance, or test marijuana quality.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.414

Miscellaneous

Sponsoring, promoting, or assisting in the sponsorship or promotion of a gathering with the knowledge that marijuana will be used, distributed, or possessed at that event is a serious misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $315-$1875 and/or up to 1 year of imprisonment.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.407

Possession with intent to sell large amounts of pot (100-1000kg) can lead to an automatic driver’s license suspension.

See

  • Iowa Code § 124.401(1)(6) 
CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DRUGGED DRIVING

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further 

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

MEDICAL CBD

This state has passed a medical CBD law allowing for the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC in instances where a physician has recommended such treatment to a patient with a state-qualifying condition.

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML’s report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.

Iowa Drugged Driving

In Iowa, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or other drug or a combination of such substances, or while detectable amounts of a controlled substance is present in the person, as measured in the person’s blood or urine. Iowa Code Ann. § 321J.2 (1)(a),(c)(West 2010) (effective December 1, 2010). However, the statute further states: “The department of public safety shall adopt nationally accepted standards for determining detectable levels of controlled substances in the division of criminal investigation’s initial laboratory screening test for controlled substances.” Presently, such standards only exist for the carboxy THC metabolite urine, not for THC in blood. As a result, in practice, the law typically only criminalizes drivers who possess levels of carboxy THC metabolites in urine above 50 ng/ml.

NOTE: Actual impairment is not an element of this offense. Cannabis metabolites can be detected in a person’s body for weeks after cannabis ingestion, thus it is possible to be convicted of this type of DUI weeks after a person last ingested cannabis.

Implied Consent

  • A person who operates a motor vehicle in this state under circumstances which give reasonable grounds to believe that the person has been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is deemed to have given consent to the withdrawal of specimens of the person’s blood, breath, or urine and to a chemical test or tests of the specimens for the purpose of determining the alcohol concentration or presence of a controlled substance or other drugs. Id. § 321J.6 (1).
  • Arrested persons may assert the right to consult counsel before deciding whether take test for impairment. Fuller v State Dept. of Transp., 275 NW2d 410 (1979).
  • If the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was under the influence of a controlled substance, a drug other than alcohol, or a combination of alcohol and another drug, a blood or urine test shall be required even after another type of test has been administered.Iowa Code Ann. § 321J.6(3) (West 2010).
  • Upon first withdraw of consent defendant shall be ineligible for a temporary restricted license for a minimum period of ninety days. Id. § 321J.2(3)(d). Upon the second refusal the defendant’s license shall be revoked for a period of two years. Id. § 321J.2(4)(c).
  • A refusal to submit to a chemical test of blood is not deemed a refusal to submit, but in that case, the peace officer shall then determine which one of the other two substances shall be tested and shall offer the test. If the peace officer fails to offer a test within two hours after the preliminary screening test is administered or refused or the arrest is made, whichever occurs first, a test is not required, and there shall be no license revocation. Id. § 321J.6 (2).

Penalties

  • First offense serious misdemeanor – minimum period of imprisonment of forty-eight hours, but not to exceed one year (sentence may accommodate the defendant’s work schedule); fine of up to one thousand two hundred fifty ($1,250) dollars; for a minimum period of one hundred eighty days up to a maximum revocation of one year. Id. § 321J.2(2)(a); Id. § 321J.2 (3). NOTE: deferred judgment not available if defendant refuses to submit sample for chemical testing Id. § 321J.2 (3)(b)(2)(d).
  • Second offense aggravated misdemeanor – minimum period of imprisonment of seven days but not to exceed two years; minimum fine of one thousand eight hundred fifty ($1,850) dollars and a maximum fine of six thousand two hundred fifty ($6,250) dollars (surcharges and fees shall be assessed)revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license for a period of one year (if a revocation occurs due to test refusal, the defendant’s license shall be revoked for a period of two years); offender will be assigned to substance abuse evaluation and treatment. Id. § 321J.2(2)(b); Id. § 321J.2(4).
  • Third and subsequent offense class “D” felony – term of imprisonment not to exceed five years, with a mandatory minimum term of thirty days; minimum fine of three thousand one hundred twenty-five ($3,175) dollars and a maximum fine of nine thousand three hundred seventy-five ($9,375) dollars (surcharges and fees shall be assessed); license revocation for a period of six years; offender will be assigned to substance abuse evaluation and treatment. Id. § 321J.2(2)(c); Id. § 321J.2(5).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Iowa, sobriety checkpoints are not permitted because statute authorizing roadblocks controls and does not authorize sobriety checkpoints. Id. § 321K.1.

  • Although court interpretation of statute does not allow sobriety checkpoint, DUI arrests may be made at roadblocks authorized by statute. State v. Day, 528 N.W.2d 100 (Iowa 1995).
  • Turning to avoid a checkpoint does not justify stop. State v. Heminover, WL 564049 (2000).

Per Se Drugged Driving Laws

Iowa has a zero tolerance per se drugged driving law enacted for cannabis and other controlled substances. Cannabis metabolites are excluded under the law. (Code of Iowa, Section 321J.2)

Iowa’s law calls for mandatory imprisonment of 48 hours and not more than 12 months upon conviction for a first offense.

Iowa Tax Stamps

Stamp
State Code §435B
Tax Rate $3.50/gram if owner possesses 42.5 grams or more
$750/plant
Penalty for Nonpayment (Civil and Criminal ) 200% of Tax and interest and Class D Felony
Additional Information

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