As municipalities (towns, cities, villages) and counties in Wisconsin are sick and tired of the State of Wisconsin legislators dragging their feet on marijuana reform, these municipalities are taking actions themselves and either lowering their fines for marijuana reform, making marijuana a lowest priority with $1 fines or removing the penalty all together for personal possession of cannabis (Sturgeon Bay, Monona, Madison). Now Rock County joins the $1 Fine for marijuana club.
We all know that in 2018 marijuana referendums throughout Wisconsin passed with high support. If you do not remember, you can review the results of the November 2018 Sixteen (16) county and two (2) city marijuana referendums here. ROCK COUNTY had a total legalization / adult use referendum that read: “Should cannabis be legalized for adult use, taxed and regulated like alcohol, with the proceeds from the Taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure?” That referendum passed with 69% in favor of this referendum.
Well, someone in the Rock County was watching, listening and responded. As main stream media reports, The Rock County Board has passed an ordinance that sets the penalty for possessing 28 grams of cannabis or less to a maximum fine of $1.
Rock County Supervisor Jacob Taylor proposed the change following the 2018 Marijuana Advisory Referendum, where there was overwhelming voter support for legalizing cannabis for recreational uses.
“This is but a baby step in the right direction, cannabis remains illegal in Rock County,” Taylor said in a post Thursday. “Additionally, this change only affects enforcement from the Rock County Sheriff’s office. The penalty remains unaltered for the police departments in our cities and towns. I hope that these municipalities will follow county leadership and consider altering their own cannabis laws, and I hope that the county will take additional steps toward decriminalizing marijuana.” source
Rock County Sheriff Troy Knudson said a county board decision to lower the fine for possession of marijuana to $1 will have little effect on how deputies do their jobs. source Knudson said deputies decide whether to issue a county ordinance violation ticket or to use the state statute when making an arrest.
The Rock County Board voted unanimously to reduce the fine for possession of an ounce of THC to $1.
With mandatory court costs, that comes to $114.50.
The previous fine for a marijuana ticket was $150 plus court costs in most cases.
County board member Yuri Rashkin called it a historic decision. He and other board members hope municipalities in the county will follow their lead in reducing the fines for possession of fewer than 28 grams.
The Beloit City Council was already considering a change to its marijuana possession forfeitures, cutting back from $300 to $100 for a first offense like Janesville and Milton. source
As our newly elected Wisconsin State Senators and Assembly Representatives take their oath of office and begin their legislative cycle we need to keep marijuana reform on the agenda throughout the process. The first step of a new legislative cycle is communication from you, the constituent.