Waukesha, WI: Waukesha County supervisors voted 27-4 this week to decriminalize pot possession for first-time offenders.
Under the new policy, law enforcement officials may cite rather than arrest individuals found in possession of small quantities of cannabis. Those charged under the ordinance face a fine, but no criminal sanctions.
Under state law, possession of any amount of pot is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail.
County Supervisors said that criminally prosecuting minor pot offenders was placing an undue burden on local police and clogging the county’s courts.
Other regions of the state have enacted similar pot decriminalization policies, including the city of Madison and Milwaukee County.
Since 1973, twelve state legislatures have adopted versions of marijuana decriminalization, replacing jail time with fine-only penalties.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.