Wisconsin is now surrounded by states and an entire country that have legalized or decriminalized possession of marijuana in some sort of fashion (with the exception of Iowa).
Even though these other territories have allowed legal possession of marijuana in some form, marijuana is still illegal in Wisconsin.
Many counties and municipalities have created laws that take away the criminal penalties, giving law enforcement the discretion to impose a citation or ordinance versus referring the case to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal charges.
Some cities have formed agreements to only issue citations for a first-time offender possessing a low level of marijuana. In November 2018, the City of Eau Claire decided to impose a $1 ticket for possession of marijuana to first-time offenders that possess 25 grams or less of marijuana.
But be aware, possession of marijuana in Wisconsin still qualifies as an unclassified misdemeanor under state statutes and is punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment, $1,000 fine or both. The Court may also suspend a person’s driver license for not less than 6 months and not more than 5 years.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is an entirely different issue.
Not only is marijuana still a criminal offense under state statutes, but a second offense possession of marijuana can be charged as a Class I felony punishable by up to 3 years 6 months imprisonment, $10,000 fine or both.
The Court may also suspend a person’s driver license for not less than 6 months and not more than 5 years. Hundreds of individuals are convicted felons because they were convicted of a second offense possession of marijuana in the State of Wisconsin.
The bottom line is that even though you may not agree with the law, that is not a defense to possession of marijuana. Many people disagree with the laws as written and some day the laws may change, but for now, marijuana remains illegal in Wisconsin.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Eau Claire, you should consult with Eau Claire defense attorney Jessie Weber. She specializes in helping her clients through the difficult legal process.