New data from 2017 from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) reveals that arrests for possession of marijuana in Wisconsin increased from 16,245 to 17,022 from 2016 to 2017, an increase of 5%. From 2015 to 2016, pot arrests had gone up almost 9%, from 14,930 to 16,245. Together those increases represent a 14% increase in state pot arrests from 2015 to 2017.
Arrests for sales of cannabis also increased 4% from 2016 to 2017, up from 1,797 to 1,870 arrests.
Meanwhile, at least nine Wisconsin county boards are considering or have passed cannabis advisory referendums for county Nov. 6 general election ballots with more counties possible. Dane County, where the county board votes on a referendum July 12, held advisory referendums on medical cannabis in 2010 and adult use in 2014, with both passing easily, but this would be the first time multiple counties have held advisory votes on cannabis in the same election. While cannabis arrests are rising in Wisconsin, other states continue to move toward legalization with Oklahoma recently becoming the 30th state with legal access to medical cannabis and our neighbor Michigan on track to legalize cannabis this November. The last Marquette Law School poll that asked about legalization for adult use, in July 2016, found support statewide at 59% in Wisconsin. New numbers from the Marquette Poll are anticipated this summer.