Marijuana News

Possession of up to 25 Grams Will Cost You $1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Possession of up to 25 Grams Will Cost You $1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin


The city of Kenosha, Wisconsin has passed an ordinance that decriminalizes the possession of marijuana in certain amounts. The new law lessens the impact of criminal charges related to marijuana possession, while not fully legalizing or decriminalizing it.

This move comes after a non-binding referendum in November 2022 where 72% of residents voted in favor of legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana like alcohol.

The ordinance limits the fines for possession of small amounts to $1 and reduces possession charges from a criminal offense to an ordinance violation. The city is among other Wisconsin cities that have decriminalized cannabis possession, such as Madison and Milwaukee.

However, Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton has expressed some concerns about how this law will affect deterrence and how impactful it will be long term. He believes that keeping subsequent offenders in Municipal Court instead of Circuit Court would be more beneficial for reducing the impact on individuals within the community.

Attitudes towards marijuana have shifted over recent years with new data showing that 49% of Americans have tried marijuana according to a Gallup survey. This number is up from 30% in 1985. Furthermore, a Marquette University Law School poll conducted in February 2022 showed that 61% of Wisconsinites said marijuana should be fully legalized and regulated like alcohol.

It appears that attitudes towards marijuana are changing nationwide, and Kenosha is one example of how policymakers are taking notice. While the new ordinance decriminalizes possession of certain amounts it falls short of full legalization but still provides some relief for those that have had brushes with the law due to cannabis possession and use.

This change in attitude could be an important step towards providing more access and safety as many states across the country continue to debate full legalization. As such, this shift in legislation could provide an important point of discussion for other cities across the country considering making similar moves.


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