From Mark Stringer, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director <[email protected]>
Subject Bipartisan marijuana decriminalization support
Date February 15, 2022 3:06 PM
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15 states have reduced the criminal consequences of marijuana offenses and Iowa should do the same.

Friend –

We are moving in the right direction: 15 states have reduced the criminal consequences of marijuana-related offenses, and 11 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use.

And in Iowa, too, we are seeing increasing bipartisan support for improving outdated and harmful marijuana laws. The enforcement of marijuana laws in Iowa has led to deep racial disparities in our criminal legal system.

Reach out to your state representative and state senator and urge them to support state laws to decriminalize marijuana. <[link removed]>

Take Action <[link removed]>

Decriminalizing marijuana is not legalization. It simply means reducing the criminal consequences of a marijuana-related offense. And it has an important impact on Black communities.

* Iowa ranks fifth in the nation <[link removed]> for largest racial disparities in arrests for marijuana possession.

* Black people in Iowa are 7.3 times more likely <[link removed]> than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though both groups use marijuana at the same rate.

* Senate File 533 <[link removed]> has been introduced in the Iowa legislature with bipartisan support. It would reduce the criminal consequence for someone possessing five grams or less of marijuana to a simple misdemeanor on a first offense.

This bill is a key step toward reducing the racial disparities in Iowa's criminal legal system.

Email your legislators and tell them you support legislation that decriminalizes marijuana in our state. <[link removed]>

Thank you for working with us to create a more just, equitable state,

Mark Stringer

Executive Director, ACLU of Iowa

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