Several Milwaukee County supervisors are proposing a resolution that would set the penalties for marijuana and paraphernalia violations no more than $1.
This would be amending Chapter 24 of the Milwaukee County Code of General Ordinances.
Supervisors sponsoring this change include Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Ryan Clancy, Steven Shea, Sequanna Taylor, Joseph J. Czarnezki, Willie Johnson Jr., Liz Sumner and Marcelia Nicholson.
The current amount for marijuana violations ranges from at least $250 to no more than $500.
Under the existing ordinance, "some individuals may not be able to afford the fine and fees associated with a marijuana possession citation, which may result in their case being sent to collections or an increased charge, which is less likely to be collected by Milwaukee County and can affect an individual's financial situation, including their credit scores," the resolution said.
The resolution put forth notes that Wisconsin's marijuana laws are less progressive than its neighboring states, including Michigan and Illinois, both which have legalized marijuana for recreational uses. Minnesota has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The proposal also cites Wisconsin ACLU findings, stating that Black Wisconsinites are 4.2 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white Wisconsinites despite similar trends in usages.
Wisconsin has been on the slow train with decriminalizing marijuana, but the conversations are happening, to move in that direction.
The resolution has been assigned to the Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee, where it will be debated. The committee's next scheduled meeting is currently set for Thursday, March 11.