All Wisconsinites 18 years and above will be allowed to use cannabis in public after city officials in Madison voted to repeal most penalties for marijuana possession and consumption.
On Tuesday, November 17th, 2020, the Madison Common Council unanimously voted to approve the statutes ending the city’s marijuana laws.
If approved, the proposed changes will permit adults to have at least an ounce or 28 grams of marijuana. It would also allow adults to consume the drug on public or private property. Possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia will also be legal.
However, the ban on smoking marijuana in places where cigarettes, tobacco, and similar substances are prohibited will remain in effect. Having marijuana on school property or within 1000 feet of school property will still be banned.
Consumption of marijuana on private property will require the property owner’s permission. Failure to comply will attract a fine of $1.
Laws governing marijuana distribution will remain unchanged, and police will be allowed to impose charges on suspected drug peddlers.
Driving under the influence of a controlled substance will also remain illegal.
Alderman Michael E. Verveer, who introduced the new policies, said that the recent changes to cannabis regulations were long overdue.
Verveer expressed his displeasure that the Wisconsin lawmakers had not considered the move long ago to amend the regulations governing adult-use cannabis like many other states across the country have done.
To table the new regulations, Verveer rallied to mobilize colleagues who responded by overwhelmingly supporting the new rules’ passage.
Alderman said the eventual legalization would bring insufficient tax revenue and other benefits to the state’s coffers, even if it will not kick-start a commercial cannabis industry in Wisconsin.
Verveer reaffirmed that the new policies would not affect the state’s marijuana law at its largest higher learning institution, The University of Wisconsin at Madison.