Legislation to Legalize Cannabis Possession and Cultivation Filed in Wisconsin House and Senate

The Wisconsin Capitol Building.
The Wisconsin Capitol Building.

Legislators in Wisconsin’s House and Senate have filed companion bills to legalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, in addition to legalizing the cultivation of two cannabis plants.

Assembly Bill 246, filed by Representative Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee), and Senate Bill 167, filed by Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), would remove the possibility of criminal penalties for the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis, and the personal cultivation of up to two plants. Unfortunately the proposal wouldn’t legalize distribution, meaning cannabis retail outlets, such as in Colorado and Washington, would not be allowed.

Under current Wisconsin law, the first-time possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is a misdemeanor with a potential 6-month jail sentence. Subsequent offenses are felonies, with a potential prison sentence of three and a half years. The charge for cultivating two cannabis plants is a felony with a potential 6-year prison sentence.

The bills would also alter how the state weighs cannabis-infused products such as edibles. Under currently law, when police catch someone with infused products, the total weight of the products in considered in the charge; this would be changed so that only the weight of the cannabis in the product will be considered.

The full text of Assembly Bill 246, which has been assigned to the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, can be found by clicking here. The full text of Senate Bill 167, which has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, can be found here.

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