A black person in Iowa is about eight times more likely to be arrested for a marijuana posession charge than a white person, according to a recent study released by the American Civil Liberties Union. This is more than double the national average which showed a racial disparity of about 3.7. The disparity in Iowa was the greatest of any state in the country.
Advocates for criminal reform in Iowa and across the country might raise the issue of economics: the growing number of convicted individuals serving life sentences has increased steadily in the past 30 years. The current count might be six times as high as it was in 1980.