Ah, Iowa. When I think of Iowa I think of a lazy day staring out at a vast field of corn. Good times!
Known as the “American Heartland,” Iowa would seem like a friendly place, right? For visiting and living it might be, but for marijuana usage I would steer clear of little ole’ Iowa. Iowa definitely has some funky marijuana laws. Let’s dig into it.
Possession based on 1st, 2nd and 3rd offense
For starters, marijuana is a schedule 1 hallucinogenic substance under the Iowa Controlled Substances Act. For possession of ANY amount it’s based on a 1st, 2nd and 3rd offense. The first time you are caught with any amount it’s a misdemeanor, a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail. The second time you are caught with any amount it’s a misdemeanor, a $1,875 fine and 1 year in jail. The third time you get busted with any amount it’s a misdemeanor, a $6,250 fine and 2 years in jail. Let me remind you this is for any amount. It’s a bit odd that they only slap you with a misdemeanor but then happily lead you to prison.
Doesn’t make much sense does it? It seems like a waste of tax payers hard earned dollars to put someone in prison for up to 6 months for smoking a joint.
On the distribution side things aren’t looking any prettier. For cultivation or distribution of 50kg (that’s KG folks) or less the penalty is a felony, up to 5 years in prison and a $7,500 fine. 50 to 100kg is a felony, up to 10 years behind bars and a $50,000 fine. 100 to 1000kg gets you shiny felony, up to 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
No game, no playing!
Things get even worse when dealing with minors. If you are caught distributing to a minor a “mandatory minimum sentence” is involved. What is the MMS law in Iowa? When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by the MMS, the judge MUST sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. No get of jail card here for all you Monopoly lovers. This isn’t a game and Iowa isn’t playing! On top of this a person serving a mandatory minimum sentence is not eligible for parole. Ouch. So to put this into perspective, even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence. And don’t forget, there is no chance of parole.
So what is the MMS for dealing with minors?
If you are caught distributing to a minor it’s a felony, with a MMS of 5 years (up to 25) and a $100,000 fine. If it’s the same situation to a minor and within 1000 feet of a park or elementary/middle school (or school bus) the MMS is 10 years and a $100,000 fine. Lesson of the day? Don’t do it because that mms isn’t going to treat you too kindly.
Hash and concentrates are pretty much handled the same as marijuana (see above) whereas paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, 6 months of good ole’ jail time and a fine of $1000.
When it comes to marijuana and Iowa, I would say the two don’t go well together at all.
Looking for an Iowa Marijuana Lawyer?
If you got caught in Iowa, you will definitely need a Marijuana Lawyer. You also need to know that what is considered as a misdemeanor in your state could be considered a felony in another state. You need to educate yourself on the laws in different states. To find out a Marijuana Lawyer in Iowa, check out our lawyer directory.