Wisconsin's drug laws are comprehensive and thorough; sometimes causing overlapping criminal charges. For instance, someone who smokes marijuana usually does so using a pipe or a bong. If he gets caught by police, they may charge him both with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Election Day, two Western states decided to legalize the recreational use of marijuana under certain circumstances. Rather than locking up increasingly significant numbers of our population for relatively minor drug crimes that disproportionately affect youth and minorities, Midwestern states might want to consider doing the same. The issue of marijuana legalization is complicated and politically charged. But it is at least worth serious contemplation.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about one very distinct difference between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Even though both states have similar population demographics, geography and size, each addresses a specific drug issue very differently. Though each state's law enforcement treats every other kind of drug issue with striking similarity, Wisconsin arrests more than twice as many individuals per year for simple marijuana possession than Minnesota does.
Wisconsin's neighbor to the west is similar in population size, political, social and educational demographics and geography. Yet, law enforcement officers in Minnesota arrest half as many individuals for marijuana possession each year as those in Wisconsin. This simple reality raises two important questions: why does Wisconsin focus so much more on marijuana possession arrests than Minnesota, and is Wisconsin better or worse off as a result?
We have previously written about how criminal convictions can keep individuals from gainful employment in certain fields. However, when an individual has committed a low-level offense and served his or her time, it is always a victory when lawmakers recognize that these individuals should be allowed more employment opportunities.
The nature of recreational drug use may be changing here in Waukesha and other mid-size communities around the Midwest. Marijuana continues to be the drug of choice for many curious young people who wish to experiment, and plenty of high school and college students find themselves facing charges of marijuana possession.
This week, a man in Florida was found walking on the beach carrying $342,000 in marijuana. He said he had walked from Fort Lauderdale to the beach after a fight with his wife, then denied any connection to a 21-foot vessel which was found near where he was walking. The defendant then claimed that he had to bring the drugs into the United States or he was going to be killed.
Wisconsin law generally states that youth 16 years old and younger will automatically be charged as a juvenile if police suspect them of a crime. Unfortunately for a Sheboygan, Wisconsin, boy, prosecutors are using a section of the law that allows juveniles to be tried as adults after police arrested him for allegedly robbing a 17 year old.
In June we wrote that Wisconsin authorities arrested 24 defendants in connection with an alleged drug ring and a separate illegal gambling ring. The drug bust was one of the largest in Wisconsin's recent history.
Earlier this week, we wrote that Wisconsin authorities have charged 24 defendants following a major investigation into an alleged drug ring and illegal gambling scheme. Law enforcement officials believe that 17 of the defendants were conspiring to sell more than 2,000 pounds of high-grade, imported marijuana.