County Board Adopts Resolution Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalty

Milwaukee – Today the County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution introduced by Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez that reduces the fine for marijuana possession, and possession and delivery of drug paraphernalia, within Milwaukee County to no more than $1.

“I am proud to be a part of Milwaukee County taking this bold step in reforming marijuana laws,” said Supervisor Ortiz-Velez. “Wisconsinites made their desires clear in 2018 when they overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalizing marijuana. I encourage county leaders across Wisconsin to make similar changes to their own county ordinances until Wisconsin joins our neighbors across the Midwest in legalizing marijuana.

The fine for marijuana possession is not less than $250 nor more than $500 under current Milwaukee County ordinance. In 2019, 257 citations were issued for marijuana possession in Milwaukee County.

The resolution applies only to Chapter 24 of Milwaukee County ordinance, which is for violations of 25 grams or less of marijuana. Law enforcement would still be able to issue State citations, if necessary, for possession of larger amounts.

An April 2020 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) study found that African Americans are nearly four times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite similar usage rates.

Supervisors Ryan Clancy, Steven Shea, Sequanna Taylor, Joseph J. Czarnezki, Willie Johnson Jr., Liz Sumner, Anthony Staskunas, Shawn Rolland and Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson co-sponsored the resolution.

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