Stevens Point City Council says yes to lower pot fines

On Monday night, Stevens Point alders voted 7-4 to approve the ordinance amendment reducing fines from $300 to $100 (plus costs) for first offense possession of 5 or less grams of cannabis. According to the Stevens Point City Clerk, the amendment will be given to the Mayor today for his signature. It will then be published in Friday’s paper and go into effect on Saturday Aug. 8.

Stevens Point, a Central Wisconsin city of almost 27,000 with a four-year University of Wisconsin campus, first decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for first-time offenders in 2014.

Last week, a city council committee unanimously recommended the $100 fine amount. With court costs, the total penalty will now be $187, same as a first-time underage drinking fine. Those found with more than 5 grams will still face state charges.

With this vote, Stevens Point becomes at least the third Wisconsin local government entity to reduce cannabis forfeiture amounts for possession of small amounts of cannabis this year, following in the footsteps of Dane County, which reduced fines to $1, and the City Of Milwaukee, which reduced fines to between $0 and $50.

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