On Monday August 17, Stevens Point alders will be voting on an ordinance amendment that would reduce fines for possessing small amounts of cannabis from $300 to $100 for first offenses.
In 2014, Stevens Point, a city of almost 27,000 with a four-year University of Wisconsin campus, decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for first-time offenders. Those caught with up to 5 grams of pot can be cited for a municipal ordinance violation, instead of being charged with a crime.
When the city first created the ordinance, the forfeiture amount was set at $300, plus court fees. A city committee unanimously recommended this week to lower that amount to $100. With court costs, the total penalty would be $187, the same amount as a first-time underage drinking fine. Those found with more than 5 grams will still face state charges.