Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County this week approved a measure that reduces the fine for carrying small amounts of marijuana to $1.
County board officials agreed to reduce the fine that was previously $275, but violators will still have to pay court fees that total $141, according to a local CBS News station.
“We achieve racial equity, and we support reductions of other drug uses, and we remove large financial burdens from everybody by passing this,” 12th District Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, told the outlet. “[With] our existing ordinances, many people cannot afford the fines and fees associated with marijuana possession.”ADVERTISEMENT
According to the county’s estimate, the change will cost the local sheriff’s department between $8,000 and $15,000 a year in lost revenue, CBS 58 noted.
The county’s decision will have little effect on the larger city of Milwaukee and in surrounding suburbs, including West Allis and Wauwatosa, where marijuana possession fines can reach up to $500.
County residents who are caught with larger amounts of marijuana will still face more severe penalties, the news outlet reported.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) proposed legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes and regulating it to capture hundreds of millions in revenue as part of his annual state budget last month.