By: Attorney Cameron Weitzner and Paralegal Rachel Sweet
Marijuana use has become more and more accepted in the United States over the past several years. Several states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and a total of 37 states allow the drug to be used for medicinal purposes. Because marijuana has been found to provide many benefits for patients, people in Wisconsin may be looking to use the drug. However, it is important to understand the current laws regarding medical marijuana since violations of these laws could result in criminal prosecution for drug charges.
Wisconsin Lawmakers Propose Medical Marijuana Bill
Unfortunately for Wisconsin residents, marijuana has not been approved for medical use in the state. However, polls have shown that 80 percent of Wisconsin residents support the legalization of medical marijuana. The Republican-controlled state legislature has failed to address this issue in the past, but this could potentially change in the future. In April of 2022, State Senator Mary Felzkowski introduced a bill and held a hearing to address the legalization of medical cannabis.
Under the proposed bill, cannabis would be allowed for medical purposes in certain forms. While smoking marijuana would not be allowed, cannabis would be available in pills, oils, or creams. Sen. Felzkowski stated that she supported the legalization of medical cannabis due to her experience as a cancer survivor. Rather than using opioid medications to address pain, she would have preferred a natural alternative that did not have harmful side effects. Other Republican and Democratic senators have also supported this change to the law, although Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu has stated that he would oppose medical marijuana legalization unless the drug is approved by the FDA.
Because marijuana remains illegal in Wisconsin, the state’s residents could potentially face criminal charges if they are found in possession of the drug, including if they travel to nearby states such as Illinois, where marijuana has been legalized, purchase drugs, and bring them back to Wisconsin. Marijuana possession is generally charged as a misdemeanor, and a person may be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to six months in prison. Possession of large amounts of marijuana could lead to charges of possession with intent to distribute. This offense is a Class I felony in cases involving less than 200 grams or no more than four marijuana plants, and a person who is convicted may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to three years and six months in prison. Possession of higher amounts may result in more serious felony charges that come with higher fines and increased jail time.
Contact Our Milwaukee, WI Marijuana Possession Defense Lawyers
Even though marijuana is widely used and is generally considered non-harmful and even beneficial, it is still illegal in Wisconsin. Those who are facing criminal charges related to the possession or distribution of marijuana can determine their options for defense by working with a lawyer who has experience with these types of cases. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we can advise you on how to proceed and help you build a successful defense strategy. To set up a consultation and learn how we can help with your case, contact our Milwaukee drug charges defense attorneys at 414-271-1440.