Marijuana has been decriminalized to some degree in Iowa. While it is still federally considered a Schedule 1 substance, in this state you may only be charged with a misdemeanor for possession of any amount.

A misdemeanor is a criminal charge and may stay on your criminal record, but the penalties are different depending on the crime.

Marijuana possession in Iowa

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law points out that the law in Iowa does not differentiate on the basis of how much marijuana you are found with. Instead, penalties are assessed based on the number of previous offenses.

Your first time getting caught with marijuana, you could get fined up to $1,000 and may face up to six months in jail. The jail time doubles to one year for your second offense, and you could be fined as much as $1,875. On your third offense, the fine jumps up to a maximum of $6,250, and the maximum sentence doubles again to two years behind bars.

Other marijuana misdemeanors

Iowa has a couple of other marijuana misdemeanors that you should be aware of. One of these is assisting, promoting or sponsoring a gathering where marijuana will be possessed, distributed or used. This one may be tricky if you are charged for promoting an event that you did not know would be marijuana-friendly.

The other marijuana misdemeanor is manufacture, distribution or possession of paraphernalia. While these are all of the misdemeanors, just remember that any kind of distribution or cultivation of marijuana is a felony in Iowa and is typically punished with a fine of thousands of dollars and several years in prison.