Marijuana decriminalization spreads across Wisconsin

STEVENS POINT – Cities across Wisconsin have been slowly decriminalizing marijuana over the past several years by adopting local ordinances that levy only fines against those caught with small amounts of pot.

State law says anyone caught with even a little marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by jail time and a permanent criminal record. But municipalities, for a variety of reasons, have been adopting local rules that allow first-time offenders to be charged with ordinance violations similar to traffic citations that carry only fines as penalties and don’t show up in Internet crime records.

A Gannett Central Wisconsin Media review of ordinances across Wisconsin found that nine of the state’s 10 largest cities have decriminalized simple marijuana possession.

Municipalities in central Wisconsin have followed a similar trend, with Stevens Point being the most recent to adopt and then modify its marijuana ordinance. This month, the city...

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