The holiday season is a time when people have a lot going on, from workplace events to neighborhood get-togethers and family parties. Alcohol is ubiquitous, and some people will indulge too much before driving.
Even though more and more states have legalized marijuana, the overall number of arrests for marijuana offenses continued to rise in 2018, according to new data from the FBI. There were 663,367 marijuana arrests nationwide last year, up from 659,700 in 2017. That itself was a jump from 2016's total of 653,249. Before that, marijuana arrests had been dropping steadily for more than a decade.
Many people call it a punitive measure or an extra punishment for distributing drugs. If you're caught dealing illegal drugs in Iowa, you may be charged with tax evasion if you didn't obtain excise tax stamps for what you sell. Having the stamps proves you've paid the required taxes.
Recently, the libertarian Reason magazine called attention to Linn County. The Sheriff's Office there has just purchased a BearCat G2 armored vehicle for $297,061. They apparently got the money for the military vehicle through civil asset forfeiture.
Diversion programs offer a way for people with minimal criminal histories to avoid becoming trapped in the criminal justice system.
CBD, a non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant, is widely available online and even in some retail stores. Nevertheless, it may not be fully legal and you should take care when using it. In Iowa, we only allow people with state-qualifying conditions to use medical CBD with a doctor's prescription, as long as the CBD contains very little THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
As you may know, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law last week that allows certain types of sports betting in Iowa by gamblers 21 and older. Although the law technically went into effect upon Reynolds' signature, the State Racing and Gambling Commission still has to draft regulations to make the betting fully legal.
Although marijuana remains illegal in Iowa and federally, many people still use it. Moreover, a lot of people are under the misimpression that driving under the influence of marijuana isn't dangerous or illegal. Unfortunately, that's not true.
With so many states legalizing marijuana, you might think that the urgency to enforce marijuana laws is waning. After all, states wouldn't be legalizing if they were still convinced that marijuana's effects were as dangerous as those of other drugs.
The state of Iowa could reduce its incarcerated population by 5,427 and save $360,400,064 by doing so -- all without a major impact on public safety, according to the ACLU of Iowa. The organization, along with ACLU affiliates nationwide, recently released a blueprint to reduce mass incarceration in the state.