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Drug charges: Lower fines sought for marijuana possession

Laws on marijuana vary significantly from state to state, and it is not uncommon to hear about states changing their marijuana laws. While current laws in Wisconsin legalize some medicinal marijuana use, possessing and cultivating marijuana is still illegal and so is trafficking. However, there are those who believe the current penalties for drug charges relating to marijuana possession are excessive.

Under current Wisconsin laws, first-time offenders in possession of marijuana -- regardless of the amount -- will be subjected to fines of up to $500 or jail sentences of a maximum of six months, or both. Subsequent offenses will be charged as felonies with much longer jail sentences and/or fines. The current penalty for the consumption of cannabis in public is from $250 to $500.

Milwaukee Common Council members recently voted in favor of lowering fines for marijuana possession. It was proposed that the penalty for possession of up to 25g of marijuana -- slightly less than one ounce -- be lowered to $50. The proposal relates only to first-time offenders, and subsequent offenses will remain felonies subject to state prosecution. The proposal offers no changes to the fines imposed for public consumption. The proposal is now at the office of the mayor for approval.

Convictions on drug charges can have serious repercussions. Wisconsin residents who are facing such charges may benefit from having experienced criminal defense attorneys on their sides. A lawyer who focuses on defending people who stand accused of crimes related to marijuana or other drugs will gather and review police reports and protect the legal rights of clients as efficiently as possible.

Source: thedailychronic.net, "Milwaukee Reduces Marijuana Possession Fines to $50", Thomas H. Clarke, June 4, 2015

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