With the many recent changes in laws in some states surrounding the usage of marijuana -- both medical and recreational -- residents of Iowa may be curious as to how they are affected. In 2014, Iowa did become one of only a handful of states at the time to legalize the possession and use of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive extract of marijuana. However, even this remains subject to strict limitations. With few highly regulated exceptions, the substance is illegal, and individuals accused of having marijuana on their persons could find themselves facing charges of drug possession or trafficking.
Drug trafficking -- a legal term for cultivating, manufacturing, distributing and selling marijuana or other illicit substances -- is treated as a felony in Iowa. As such, it is punishable by prison sentences of up to 50 years. Various factors, including the location of the alleged sale, the amount of the substance and any prior history of criminal activity on the part of the accused are all factors that a judge will take into consideration for sentencing a defendant found guilty of marijuana trafficking.
Sentencing for convicted individuals often includes a monetary fine as well. Penalties also increase when the defendant is convinced of selling the substance to a minor. Further complicating the matter is the fact that Iowa laws regulate marijuana within state borders, but federal laws still criminalize its possession and trafficking across the nation.
With so many complicated restrictions and contradictory laws surrounding marijuana, it's no wonder many individuals find themselves uncertain of their legal rights. At this time, being convicted of drug possession or trafficking of any kind in Iowa still carries serious penalties. Those who find themselves facing these or any other criminal charges will likely find the legal advice and representation of an experienced Iowa criminal defense attorney crucial to securing the most positive outcome possible in such circumstances.
Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "Iowa Marijuana Laws", Accessed on Sep. 2, 2017