Reduce Penalties for Pot Possession
Second offense possession still a felony in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Justice Initiative spent dozens of hours reviewing Milwaukee County possession of marijuana – second offense files. Certain patterns of enforcement — where arrests are made and the demographics of the arrested and charged — are clear and disturbing. We have relevant details of the first five cases examined posted and will update the chart and map regularly.
The State Public Defender’s office recommended in its 2017-19 budget request that first and second offense marijuana possession cases both be considered municipal ordinance violations rather than crimes. (Currently, simple possession is a misdemeanor for the first offense under state law, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.) That recommendation went exactly nowhere, even though it would save the office about $500,000.
Various bills have been introduced to change the rules on pot possession, but their futures are uncertain, to say the least. But the law clearly, definitely needs to change.
Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.
More about the Legalizing of Marijuana
- Op Ed: Reduce Penalties for Pot Possession - Gretchen Schuldt - Aug 7th, 2017
- Op Ed: We Must Legalize Marijuana - State Rep. David Crowley - Jul 21st, 2017
- Gov. Scott Walker Defense of Taking Donation From Marijuana Industry Advocates While Calling For More Drug Testing: $25,000 Check Too Small to Influence Him - One Wisconsin Now - Jul 21st, 2017