It is safe to say that states that provide medical marijuana laws for
its residents are on the pathway towards the overall decriminalization
of pot. Although a law to completely legalize pot in California was
recently defeated in the polls, that state still allows for medical
marijuana use. As a result, their laws for possession aren't as severe.
That's not the case in Iowa. Without the leniency for medical
exemptions, Iowa has very strict penalties attached to the possession,
growing or selling of marijuana.
Unlike other states with strict laws, Iowa's arrest record for
marijuana offenses is below the national average. That means many more
Iowa residents are following the laws.
Iowa Marijuana Possession Penalties
Iowa marijuana laws don't make "amount distinctions" when it comes to
possession charges. Being arrested with any amount of pot is will have
you slapped with a Class A misdemeanor charge. The distinctions pertain
to the number of times you've been arrested for the same offense.
For a first time possession conviction, you could end up in jail for
six months and pay a $1,000 fine. A second time conviction bumps the
jail time up to one year and the fine up to $1,500. With a third
offense or more, the time behind bars can be up to two years and the
penalty can be as high as $5,000.
Iowa Marijuana Growing or Selling
All of the arrests in the categories of growing or selling marijuana
are considered felony offenses. Being convicted with an amount of pot
less than 50 kilograms (110 pounds) could mean up to five years in jail
along with paying a $7,500 fine.
For amounts of between 50 to 100 kilograms the prison time is 10 years
and the fine is could be as high as $50,000. With a conviction for
selling an amount of pot in the range of 100 to 1,000 kilograms could
have you serving up to 25 years in jail and paying $100,000 in fines.
The top level of growing or selling penalties is with any amount over
1,000 kilograms. A conviction with that weight could mean 50 years in
jail and $1,000,000 fine.
There are certain special circumstances with regard to penalties for
selling or growing marijuana in Iowa. If you are convicted of selling
pot to a minor, you'll face a mandatory minimum of five years jail up
to 25 years. If you are found to have sold pot within 1,000 feet of a
school or park, that mandatory minimum sentence is increased to 10
Iowa Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties
Compared to the possession penalties, the fines and jail time for
marijuana paraphernalia aren't as harsh. If you are convicted in
possession of or attempting to sell marijuana paraphernalia you'll be
charged with a misdemeanor and could serve just 30 days in jail and pay
a $500 fine.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is treated the same way as
driving under the influence of alcohol. For a first time offender,
you'll be spending at least 48 hours in jail with a possibility of up
to one year behind bars. The jail time increased for any subsequent