The Linn County Attorney’s Office is launching a limited marijuana diversion program, allowing some people charged with possession to avoid a criminal record.
The program is for first-time offenders with no previous felony charges. Studies find black Iowans are far more likely than white Iowans to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite using the drug at comparable levels. Mark Bennett, director of the Drake University Law School Institute for Justice Reform and Innovation, worries the program may reinforce racial disparities.
Bennett, a retired federal judge, sees it as a good first step, but worries the program will exacerbate racial inequality.
The program is launching this month, with plans to review and potentially modify it at the end of the year.
story courtesy of Radio Iowa