Proposed Bill Aims to Raise Fines for Cannabis Possession in Wisconsin

High Times

A bill proposed by a bipartisan pair of Wisconsin lawmakers could result in a spike in fines for marijuana possession in some of the state’s most populous and diverse cities. The legislation seeks to “set fines statewide to no less than $100 for possessing 14 grams or less of marijuana and no more than $250,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, which would require “many communities like Green Bay to lower minimum fines for the misdemeanor.” That could carry significant implications on communities such as Milwaukee, by far the largest city in Wisconsin as well as its most diverse, where, as the Journal Sentinel noted, “fines for marijuana possession of 28 grams or less are currently $1.”  The proposed bill “would increase fines for having 14 grams or less to $100 but allow county officials to keep fines $1 for convictions for more than 14 grams,” the Journal Sentinel reported. “Under current law, a person convicted of possessing marijuana may face up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in prison on the first offense,” the newspaper said. “On subsequent offenses, the crime becomes a felony.” Unlike in neighboring Great Lakes states Illinois and Michigan, recreational pot use remains illegal in Wisconsin. For years, Badger State lawmakers have proposed variations of legalization bills, all of which have gone up in smoke. There are signs, however, that change could be on the horizon. Wisconsin Proposes Legal Cannabis Earlier this year, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, announced that his budget proposal for the years 2021 to 2023 seeks to “[regulate and tax] marijuana much like we do alcohol.” “States across the country have moved forward with legalization, and there’s no reason Wisconsin should be left behind,” Evers said in a statement at the time, adding that regulating and taxing pot…

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