Milwaukee Co. proposal seeks marijuana fine drop: 'No more than $1'

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Eight Milwaukee County supervisors have sponsored a resolution to drop the fine for marijuana possession to "no more than" $1.

The proposal, filed on Feb. 3, seeks to amend Chapter 24 of the Milwaukee County Code of General Ordinances, specifically reducing the fine for marijuana possession.

That fine, along with the fine for possession and delivery of drug paraphernalia, would be reduced to no more than $1 under the proposed resolution.

Currently, the code -- Chapter 24.02 -- sets the fine at "not less than" $250 and no more than $500. If passed, it calls for the change to take effect on the first day of the month, no less than 21 days after publication.

The amendment is sponsored by supervisors Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Ryan Clancy, Steven Shea, Sequanna Taylor, Joseph Czarnezki, Willie Johnson, Liz Sumner and Marcelia Nicholson, the county board chairwoman for the 2020-2022 term.

The resolution states that, despite an "increasing shift in attitudes" toward decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana, Wisconsin was one of 17 states that saw a rise in marijuana possession arrests from 2010-2018. It also notes Wisconsin's marijuana-related laws as "less progressive" than neighboring Minnesota and Illinois. 

Also cited was a 2020 ACLU report, which found that Black Wisconsin residents were more than four times as likely as white residents.

More information, including the proposed resolution in full, can be found at milwaukeecounty.legistar.com.

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