Wisconsin lawmakers legalize public use of cannabis

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The city officials in Madison, Wisconsin voted to remove the majority of the local penalties for marijuana possession and consumption. In other words, the state legalized cannabis use for adults over the age of 18. The City’s Common Council passed the group of three ordinances updating the city’s cannabis laws. With the new law change, adults can now carry up to an ounce or 28 grams of cannabis and consume it in public and private locations.

However, smoking cannabis still remains illegal in places where smoking is prohibited. Moreover, marijuana is still prohibited in schools and or in close proximity to a school. In addition, to consume marijuana legally in private properties you will need the permission of the property owner, landlord, or tenant; otherwise, it will carry a $1 fine.

Laws against marijuana distribution and sale are still there. The police can still put charges on people who they think have the intent to sell. Driving while having THC in your system is also legal in Wisconsin state. Alderman Michel E. Verveer (D) the person who introduced the legislation, was happy with the approval. He said that the changes were long overdue.


“The reality is that we shouldn’t even be talking about this tonight,” Verveer said. He added that it is“preposterous and outrageous that the Wisconsin state legislature has not moved long ago toward legal and regulated adult use of cannabis, as so many other states have across the country, including many of our neighboring states.

Michel E. Michel E. Verveer worked hard to push forward the legislation for legalization. Because of his efforts more than half of the members of the council signed to approve these new laws. Although the new laws still prohibit the cannabis industry, Verveer believes that it will generate good tax revenues.

Cannabis Reforms:

The cannabis reforms will also deal with racial injustice in enforcing marijuana possession laws. Verveer explained that they will try to amend years of police brutality. There are numerous studies that indicate that racial groups use cannabis at the same rates as the other population.

“Based on a 20-year study of casual possession of marijuana ordinance citations issued by the Madison Police Department,” he said. “Approximately 51 percent of those citations were issued to whites, and a little over 43 percent were issued to Blacks. That of course is despite the fact that our Black brothers and sisters in no way are anywhere close to 43 percent of our community’s population today.”

Cannabis still remains illegal in federal territories. Moreover, the state’s largest college the University of Wisconsin (UW) at Madison reported that they will still have zero tolerance for marijuana on campus. However, students over the age of 18 can consume cannabis off-campus. What’s interesting about this law is the fact that it has a lower age limit of 18. Most states across the US have marijuana laws that incorporate people at the age of 21.

These laws also replaced the existing laws in place in the city. In addition, Madison has a rich history in terms of legalization. Previously, A policy enacted in 1977 allowed residents to possess up to 112 grams of cannabis on private property. The recent laws however include fines for marijuana possession but that will also change after the new bill. The lawmakers also filed a bill for removing criminal penalties for possession of cannabis last year but that failed to process.

The people of Wisconsin voted for some form of marijuana reforms in the last elections and they finally got it. Hopefully, the new legalization process won’t take that long.

Alan Bert: