First Offense Marijuana Possession Lawyer for Polk County, Iowa
First offense marijuana possession in Iowa is usually a serious misdemeanor. Prior convictions for possession, tax stamp violations, or precursor violations change the equation.
Here is a flowchart:
Your lawyer Iowa will help you understand your . A for may be a more serious . A for even of could result in a .
Penalties for Iowa Marijuana Possession
For of , first , you will pay a fine of up to $1,000. You could spend up to six months in the . Iowa Code 124.401(5). There is a of two days in for any , even in a .
The State may enhance your charge. For example, a prior for possessing a different substance could enhance your to an aggravated . Violating precursor laws (Chapter 124B,) or a tax stamp rules (Chapter 453B) could also cause enhancement. Two or more priors could make your into a Class "D" .
If you are convicted of , the Court will sentence you to at least 48 hours in . The judge can suspend that . If the judge suspends your time, the court will put you on probation. If you attend probation for a , you must submit to random testing.
It's possible that you will be eligible for a deferred judgment if convicted.
What is M?
Most parts of plants count as . is not under 's . cannot always readily discern between hemp and .
Anything containing or THC may be deemed illegal " ." You could be charged with a for possessing or edibles. Even possessing could be a . does not allow use in any form.
Medical Marijuana and the Prescription Defense
Iowa's Medical Cannabidiol Act - Chapter 124E
Permanent Iowa residents who are at least 18 years old can now apply for medical marijuana in Iowa. Health care practitioners sign written certifications that patients are suffering from a debilitating medical condition. The patients submit those certifications to the department of health and pay a fee of $100. (The fee is only $25 for people who are on social security disability, supplemental security insurance, or medical assistance.)
What is Cannabidiol?
For purposes of Iowa law, medical cannabidiol is any pharmaceudical grade cannabinoid -- usually THC or CBD -- found in either indica or sativa cannabis plants. Additionally, medical cannabidiol includes preparations of the cannabis plant with no more than 3% THC.
If you're driving through Iowa with your valid medical cannabidiol card from your home state, it is entirely possible that you will find yourself arrested and your medication seized.
Under Iowa law, though, that shouldn't happen. Iowa Code 124E.18 has a reciprocity provision. Out-of-state patients with medical cannabidiol registration cards should have their cannabidiol cards recognized. Out of state cannabidiol cards don't allow you to buy medical marijuana from Iowa cannabidiol dispensaries, though.
Some counties have not recognized reciprocity for other states' cards. When patients' medication is , rather than cannabidiol, has charged those patients with illegal of a .
Any state or federal felony that involved possessing, using, or distributing a controlled substance will disqualify you from getting an Iowa medical marijuana card.
It is illegal to have a in . There is an exception. Valid prescriptions and doctors orders exempt patients from prosecution.
The problem is that neither nor specifically allows for . is a Schedule I substance. The government does not recognize any valid medical use for marijuana. Obviously, many medical practitioners disagree. is widely prescribed in many states. For example, implemented their Patient Registry Program in 2021.
Under the controlled substances act, prescriptions require valid medical purposes. What happens when one state recognizes marijuana's medical applications but another state does not? How does the federal government's opinion affect this? Some states, such as Arizona, suggest that federal law does not preempt states' programs. They reason that the CSA requires a medical purpose. While federal law does not recognize a medical purpose for marijuana, those states' laws do. Patients in these states may use their cards to purchase medication at a licensed .
Warren County's Selective Recognition of the Prescription Defense
Hopefully, . We will have to wait and see whether or not 's appellate courts do the right thing.'s appellate courts will overturn out-of-state patients' convictions. patients should not be accused of . Punishing patients who are in pain does not improve . It does not reduce . It does not further the goals of
Search and Seizure
Did law enforcement get a warrant? Did they search you? How about your home or your car? Your will review any search. If a magistrate signed a without , your may be able to get the evidence suppressed.
Elements at Trial
The State of Iowa bears the burden of proving you guilty of your . You cannot receive a at trial unless the State proves all elements of the . Ask your lawyer about reasonable doubt. If the police serve you a summons to appear, a criminal defense lawyer can help. Ask an Iowa lawyer to explain Iowa's laws to you.
The government must prove that you possessed a . is not always so simple.
The government can prove in one of two ways. First, they could prove actual . In order to prove actual , the prosecutor would have to present evidence that you had the on your person.
Alternatively, they could prove . Relevant factors to include: incriminating statements, incriminating actions, your fingerprints on packages, other circumstances linking you to the drugs. See State v. Kemp, 688 N.W.2d 785, 789 (Iowa 2004) (citing State v. Cashen, 666 N.W.2d 566, 571 (Iowa 2003)).
Either constructive or actual could lead to a .
requires proof of knowledge. For the to stick, the prosecution must show that you knew about the drugs. They have to show that you occupied and controlled the premises.
A also requires you to know what the substance is. does not punish you for that you honestly believed was just a horse chestnut plant.
Identity of the Substance
Previously, the DCI laboratory could not tell the difference between illegal and legal hemp. This is because their test could not quantify now much THC was in plant material. (To "quantify" something means to measure how much of it there is.)
Now, the lab uses liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to quantify the THC in plant material. That means that some machines in the DCI lab can now tell and hemp apart.
They do not have to use a test to prove that something is moss phlox, skunk, or hops can be mistaken for the smell of . However, the lack of a test could lead to unreliable results. For instance, police have previously raided houses based on the smell of , only to find out that no was present! Sometimes, things like .
Additional Relevant Charges
Possessing a large amount of class D is punishable by up to 5 years in . A is punishable by up to 10 years. or a usually leads to a . A
The government may also accuse you of possessing .
Penalties for paraphernalia aren't exactly steep. Paraphernalia is a simple . If you're facing something like charges with intent to distribute, paraphernalia charges may seem negligible. The government still must prove guilt
This blog post is for informational purposes only. Do not rely on it for legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. If you want to talk to us about representing you when you’re facing an Iowa , please contact us at (515) 491 6128. We’ll set up a time to talk.