IOWA LEGISLATURE

Bill cracks down on sale in Iowa of pipes used to smoke illegal drugs such as meth

Iowa senators also set penalties for use of synthetic urine

The Iowa Capitol dome is seen in Des Moines. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
The Iowa Capitol dome is seen in Des Moines. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
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DES MOINES — State senators on Wednesday approved legislation intended to crack down on Iowa businesses that sell products used to smoke meth or other illicit drugs.

Senate File 363 is an innovative way to deal with an otherwise disgusting problem we have here in Iowa,” said Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs.

The bill, approved 49-0, now heads to the Iowa House for consideration.

Dawson said Iowa has seen a proliferation of glass and metal pipes for sale in retail establishments that essentially are being used as drug paraphernalia.

The bill creates a $1,500 license application to sell such devices, requires the retailer to hold a state tobacco license and applies a 40 percent surcharge tax on each device sold, with proceeds going toward supporting the state’s drug courts.

The measure also carries penalties for selling without a license and a serious criminal misdemeanor for using the devices as drug paraphernalia.

Synthetic Urine

Senators also voted, 32-16, to make it a crime for an employee to defraud a workplace drug or alcohol test by using synthetic urine.

House File 283, which goes to the governor, prohibits a person from manufacturing, marketing, selling, distributing, using or possessing synthetic urine or a urine additive for the purpose of defrauding a drug or alcohol test.

First offense would be a simple misdemeanor, growing to a penalty of up to a year in jail for subsequent offenses.

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Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, said no one believes cheating on a drug test is acceptable, but the bill should go after the online sources of synthetic urine similar to the approach taken under Senate File 363 rather than injecting criminal offenses into workplace situations at a time when Iowa is struggling with a shortage of skilled workers.

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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