City Officials Look to Decriminalize Possession of Marijuana
A proposed ordinance is currently under review for new possession of marijuana charges
SUPERIOR, Wis.- A Superior city councilor brought discussion to the most recent public safety meeting on the potential decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Craig Sutherland along with the police department, city attorney and the county attorney are drafting an ordinance that would keep offenders from facing the criminal system for first time and small amount possession offences.
Those found with marijuana are currently charged with the Wisconsin state statutes calling for a misdemeanor and/or a fine of $1,000, with subsequent offences leading to potential felony charges.
Police Chief Nicholas Alexander says under the proposed ordinance, first time offenders with small amounts of marijuana won’t have to face permanent charges on the record.
“Using an ordinance that really going to be the equivalent to like a parking ticket for the first offence or low quantity does give somebody an opportunity to make a mistake in their life and not have it carry on with them the rest of their life.”
The ordinance would give officers the option to issue a fine instead of making arrests.
The amount of the fine and what is considered to be a small amount of marijuana is under review.
Alexander says the ordinance could take effect as early as six weeks from now with a final vote from the council at whole.
Douglas county district attorney Mark Fruehauf says that the ordinance will not change anything for anyone currently serving time for marijuana offences.