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Milwaukee Mayor Signs Marijuana Decrim Law

The new ordinance will reduce the fine for first-time possession from $1,000 to $50.


Wisconsin has some of the toughest marijuana possession laws in the country. A first offense for any amount is punishable by six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine. If you’re caught twice it’s an automatic felony. Residents can face up to 3.5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for having a single joint.

The good news is that the Milwaukee Common Council approved a measure to decriminalize cannabis locally. On June 2, a measure was passed 10-3 by the alders to make first-time marijuana possession punishable by a fine of no more than $50.

While there was some question as to whether Mayor Tom Barrett would sign it into law, Wisconsin NORML’s Gary Storck reports in his blog, Cannabadger, that it has Barrett’s signature.

When I did not hear back on Friday, I did more news searches and there was nothing. Then I visited the City of Milwaukee website and found records showing that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett had signed File #140697 «A substitute ordinance relating to penalties for possession of marijuana» into law as a city ordnance before the deadline on June 11.

Storck says that the next step is for the City Clerk to publish the ordinance by June 18.

Local advocates are hoping this will give added momentum to a state legislative effort to remove the felony for second possession offenses.