Madison, Wisconsin Decriminalizes Cannabis Possession

Madison, Wisconsin approved a cannabis decriminalization ordinance on Tuesday that reduces the possession fines for up to 28 grams of cannabis to just $1.

Full story after the jump.

The Madison, Wisconsin Common Council on Tuesday approved a cannabis possession decriminalization ordinance, including up to 28 grams for adults 18-and-older and paraphernalia, Channel 3000 reports. Under the ordinance, possession fines are reduced to $1.

Alder Mike Verveer, the measure’s sponsor, during the meeting called the reforms “long overdue.” 

“The reality is we shouldn’t even be talking about this tonight. It’s preposterous and outrageous that the Wisconsin State Legislature has not moved toward legal and regulated adult use of cannabis like so many states have across the country, including many of our neighboring states.” – Verveer via Chanel 3000

Wisconsin is bordered to the south by Illinois and to the north and east by Michigan – in both states cannabis is legal for adult-use. Cannabis is also largely decriminalized in Minnesota, Wisconsin’s western neighbor.

Smoking cannabis will still be banned in areas where smoking tobacco is not allowed, cannabis possession within 1,000 feet of a school or on a school bus is not covered, neither is delivery nor use in a car that is in operation.

The city has had a law on the books since 1977 that allows residents to consume or possess cannabis in private residences, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Verveer told the Badger Herald that in an advisory referendum during the 2018 election more than 76 percent of Dane County voters favored legalizing cannabis for adults.

“I am pleased that Madison will largely wipe out any arrest for cannabis, or cannabis-related paraphernalia,” he said to the Herald. “So it will greatly diminish the existing discretion that Madison cops have to issue citations for possession of cannabis and for cannabis and drug paraphernalia. … I believe that this overdue reform will allow for an increased trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

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