Correction: This article was updated to clarify the April election referendum question was about legalizing marijuana, not eliminating fees as was previously written.
STURGEON BAY – If you’re caught with less than one ounce of marijuana in your home, you no longer owe a fine after a Sturgeon Bay common council vote Tuesday.
The council voted 5-1 to eliminate fines for only the homeowner holding a small amount of marijuana in one’s permanent residence. District 5 Alderperson Gary Nault voted no, and District 2 Alderperson David Hayes was absent.
People carrying less than one ounce of marijuana in public must pay $50 on their first offense, then $100 for all following incidents, reflecting the city’s open carry law for alcohol.
Marijuana is illegal under state law, so people would still receive a citation and pay court fines.
The ordinance amendment came into conversation when a referendum question during April’s election showed voters said were in favor of legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. Legalization depends on state law, so the referendum simply shows Sturgeon Bay supports the state changing marijuana possession laws.
District 6 Alderperson Seth Wiederanders advocated for the change, bringing the amendment back to the table even after the council struck down his recommendation in July.