The short answer to your question is yes, it is illegal to possess marijuana in the state of Iowa. Unfortunately, each year, hundreds of people are busted on I-35 or I-80 for possession of marijuana. Many of these folks are busted on their returning journey from western states such as California and Colorado where possession of marijuana is legal.
More often than not, the travelers who get busted will have their medical marijuana card issued by their home state and travel to other states such as Iowa under the impression that their card allows them to possess medical marijuana anywhere in the United States. In reality, medical marijuana cards issued by other states are not recognized in Iowa. In fact, Iowa still has not legalized marijuana for medicinal use or for any other purpose. No matter what, you cannot possess marijuana, for medicinal purposes or not, in the state of Iowa.
A first offense possession of marijuana is considered to be a (lessor) serious misdemeanor. First-time offenders found guilty are required to spend two days in jail and can serve as much as six months is jail and can be charged a fine of up to $1,850.
Though the landscape of marijuana possession charges is changing, it is important to note that it is not something to be taken lightly. Though many use marijuana recreationally, and a large portion of the population believes it poses no adverse health risks, there are serious legal consequences for possessing marijuana, especially in large amounts.
When being faced with marijuana possession charges, it’s a possibility that your driver’s license may be taken away, as this is a major inconvenience for most people. You may also spend some time in jail, lose your job, be placed in drug treatment, or undergo other conditions while on your probationary period.
With any luck, you’ll face the minimum penalty during your sentencing. Minimal penalties include anything from a fine to a deferred judgment. Penalties increase from there, however, and they depend on the details of your particular case. Maximum penalties include an increased fee as well as some jail time, which is typically six months or less for first-time offenders. If your case is severe enough, or you possessed a large amount of marijuana, you could face additional penalties on top of the maximum ones. Such penalties typically involve the suspension of your driver’s license.
The truth is that a conviction for possession of marijuana can mess with a person’s life. Should you have questions or require further information regarding how a charge such as the possession of marijuana may impact your life, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced attorney.