Common Council sends proposal to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana back to committee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in Milwaukee has been put on hold -- at least for now.

Milwaukee Common Council members spent more than an hour talking about this issue on Tuesday morning, May 12th -- before sending it back to committee.

The proposal wouldn't legalize the drug -- but it would reduce the punishments for those in possession of small amounts of it.

Alderman Nik Kovac, a supporter of the measure, wants the fine to be no more than $50, based on input from Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, who said the original plan for a $5 fine was too low.

Some aldermen say they need more time to make a decision.

"We have not heard from the different municipal judges that may or may not have concerns about it," Alderman Robert Puente said.

"This is currently not an enforcement priority for the police. People with less than 25 grams of marijuana in their pocket, they might be doing something else too, and then if they're doing something else too, that's what we will punish them for, but the mere act of having marijuana in your pocket is not destabilizing the community or making us less safe," Alderman Kovac said.

The current fine in Milwaukee for possessing small amounts of marijuana is between $250 and $500.