The Rock County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors have reduced cannabis possession fined to one dollar, Channel 3000 reports. While the move stops short of decriminalization, it does significantly reduce fines in the county which previously ran from $150 to $500 depending on the offense.
Additionally, the change only applies to those charged by the county sheriffs.
Jacob Taylor, supervisor of the county’s 16th district and sponsor of the ordinance, said that in 2018, 70 percent of county residents voted in favor of a referendum on cannabis legalization. He said reducing the fine says that county officials are “listening to voters.”
“If a county sheriff pulls you over and you have cannabis in your car, you might get that one dollar ticket, but you’re still going to have a record.” — Taylor to Channel 3000
Tom Grieve, a defense attorney based in Wisconsin, said that while the move “wrinkles [him] the wrong way” because people from one county to the next “have radically different outcomes” from a cannabis arrest, “knocking $200 off a fine is real math” for people who don’t make a lot of money.
“Unless or until there is some sort of normalization across the state on this is what it’s going to be, there’s going to be patchwork enforcement,” he said in the report.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) supports cannabis decriminalization statewide and a functional medical cannabis program. Democratic lawmakers have introduced a measure that would decriminalize cannabis possession up to an ounce, expunge criminal records for possessing 28 grams or less, and prohibit police from searching vehicles based on the smell of cannabis.
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