Protecting Your Rights Throughout Eastern Iowa Since 1981

Patchwork of marijuana laws remains unsettled

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2016 | Drug Charges

Use of marijuana is still illegal in Iowa. In spite of a growing trend of some states to permit marijuana for medical use and a few allowing recreational use, Iowa still has some of the most restrictive marijuana laws in the nation.

Marijuana is only permitted for medical treatment of severe epilepsy and only in the form of an extract. The law that authorized it failed to provide any legal means to produce or distribute the extract, so potentially even if you suffered from epilepsy, obtaining or producing the extract could still lead to criminal drug charges.

Legalization, whether for medical or recreational purposes, comes with many challenges as states like Colorado, Oregon and Arizona have discovered. While recreational use is legal in Colorado, it is still illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of the drug, leading to an increase in prosecutions.

However, due to the difference in how the body processes the active chemical in marijuana, THC, means there is no breathalyzer for marijuana. Significantly, the chemical can show up in the blood days after they last time it was consumed, meaning some tests will produce a positive reading even when the individual has not used it for days.

For those with medical conditions like epilepsy or multiple sclerosis, it appears to bring relief, but many fear its reputation as a gateway drug.

In addition to state charges, there is always the potential for federal charges. With the change in presidential administrations, the future of marijuana use may become even cloudier.