A municipal legislation has been signed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to reduce minor marijuana possession offenses to a maximum of a $50 fine.
Mayor Tom Barrett has signed into law the ordinance to reduce the fine. Members of the Milwaukee City Council previously voted 10 to 3 to amend the city’s prior decriminalization ordinance that has been in place since 1997, which classified a minor marijuana possession as punishable by a fine of up to $500.
According to the new ordinance, possession charges of 25 grams or less can result in a fine of no more than $50, but a succeeding charge will remain as a criminal offense tried by the state of Wisconsin.
The new Milwaukee possession penalties differ greatly from state law, which classifies any amount of marijuana as criminal misdemeanor. Throughout Wisconsin, first time possession of any amount of cannabis can be punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 dollars; up to six months in prison; or both. Any further offenses are considered a felony, which can result in a maximum of three and a half years in state prison; a $10,000 fine; or both.
This change in city law is a result of a 2013 legislature bill that gave city governments the power to create their own policies for determining punishment for first-offense marijuana possession up to 25 grams.
Wisconsin lawmakers are currently considering to a proposal to dispose of all state-imposed penalties for marijuana possession of up to 25 grams.