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Rock County lowers penalty for possessing under an ounce of marijuana to $1

Posted at 9:29 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 22:33:56-04

JANESVILLE — The Rock County Board of Supervisors have amended an ordinance that reduces the penalty for possessing under an ounce of marijuana to just a single dollar.

The amendment also lowers the penalty for possessing drug paraphernalia - such as pipes used for smoking cannabis - to a dollar.

The penalty used to be up to $500 for the same crimes.

The amendment comes as Rock County deals with a new reality: legal, recreational marijuana just over the border in Illinois.

Rock County Sheriff Troy Knudson tells the GazetteXtra that the decision to reduce the fine will not have a great effect on enforcement. But it may for the defendant. The news outlet reports that with mandatory court costs, the price of being caught with under an ounce of marijuana comes down to a little over $114. That's down from around $150 plus court costs before the amendment.

Cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, and also remains illegal in Wisconsin.

But a number of states have legalized recreational - as well as medicinal - marijuana, including Wisconsin's neighbors Illinois and Michigan. Minnesota has legalized medicinal marijuana and decriminalized offenses, and Iowa has legalized medicinal.

Wisconsin remains one of only eight states to keep cannabis 100% illegal.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp are legal in the Badger State, but those compounds do not possess psychoactive properties.

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