Des Moines Task Force Meets to Look at Minimizing Marijuana Enforcement

DES MOINES, Iowa - The city of Des Moines is looking at loosening the enforcement of marijuana laws.

The city council's Marijuana Enforcement Task Force met Thursday night. The group has until the first Monday in October to make recommendations to the council.

A resolution drafted last month says marijuana should be the lowest enforcement priority for Des Moines police. It also includes a 2020 ACLU report showing the state has one of the greatest disparities in arrests for marijuana possession between blacks and whites.

Protests after the killing of black people by numerous police departments raised the profile of the issue in Des Moines. Decriminalizing marijuana was one of the demands Des Moines Black Lives Matter presented to Mayor Frank Cownie and the city council in June.

The task force will make recommendations on any action the state legislature or the city could take to make marijuana a lower enforcement priority.

The Des Moines City Council has also discussed taking steps to decriminalize marijuana in the city. It's unclear what power the city would have to do so without a change in state law.

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