Legislation is pending in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly that seeks to allow municipalities to penalize marijuana possession offenders in instances where the District Attorney has refused to prosecute.
Under state law, local governments prosecute first-time marijuana possession offenses involving 25 grams or fewer. Repeat offenses, or any offense involving a quantity of marijuana over 25 grams, is prosecuted in state court at the discretion of the District Attorney. Senate Bill 150 and its companion bill (AB 164) would allow local jurisdictions to enact ordinances allowing for municipal courts to prosecute repeat cannabis possession offenders and/or those charged with possession more than 25 grams of cannabis in cases where the District Attorney has explicitly declined to do so.
At a time when many states and local jurisdictions are moving away from spending limited resources to target minor marijuana offenders, it makes little sense to enact legislation allowing for the continued prosecution of such persons in instances where the District Attorney has decided to forgo such actions.
Additional information about this legislation and efforts to oppose it is available from Wisconsin NORML here.