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The Buzz on Pot: Wisconsin’s Marijuana Laws

  • Birdsall Obear

Marijuana used to be illegal everywhere, but laws around the country have been changing. Recreational cannabis is now legal in 23 states, and medical use is legal in 15 others (August 2023).

Knowing the laws in your state can help you avoid legal trouble. Wisconsin is one of the states that has not yet legalized marijuana. Therefore, if you grow, sell, or even possess marijuana in the state, you could be charged with a crime.

Wisconsin Criminal Charges Associated With Marijuana

The following are common criminal charges related to marijuana under Wisconsin law. When you consult with a defense lawyer, they can help you better understand the charges against you and create a defense strategy to protect you and your future. 

Possession as a first-time offense is a misdemeanor. Penalties for a first offense include fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months in prison.

A second offense for marijuana possession in Wisconsin may be charged as a felony. A conviction can result in up to $10,000 in fines and up to three and a half years in prison. Subsequent charges can lead to additional penalties. 

While these are the statutory penalties, the exact consequences of a marijuana possession conviction depend on several factors, including the number of previous convictions, if any, and the amount of marijuana. 

Cultivation or Sale
Cultivating and selling marijuana are also considered crimes within Wisconsin. Penalties typically vary based on the amount of marijuana:

  • 200 Grams or Less: Up to $10,000 in fines and up to three and a half years of imprisonment 
  • 1,000 to 2,500 Grams: Up to $10,000 in fines and up to six years in prison
  • 2,500 to 10,000 Grams: Up to $25,000 in fines and a maximum of 12.5 years in prison
  • Over 10,000 Grams: Up to $25,000 in fines and a maximum of 15 years in prison 

Exact penalties are based on the details of the arrest, the charge, and the judge’s discretion. 

In Wisconsin, it is also illegal to use or possess drug paraphernalia, which includes items that assist in the cultivation, distribution, or use of marijuana. A charge for paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 in fines or a maximum of 30 days imprisonment. 

What About Medical Marijuana?
States differ on medical marijuana laws. Some states make recreational marijuana use illegal, while consumption for certain medical needs is allowed. 

Lawmakers in Wisconsin have recently been working on legalizing marijuana in the state for medical purposes. For now, however, marijuana remains illegal, regardless of its intended use.

Therefore, even if you intend to use marijuana for medical reasons, you could still face criminal charges. 

If You’re Facing Charges for Marijuana in Wisconsin, Consult With a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you’re charged with a marijuana-related offense, you don’t have to handle your case alone. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you navigate your case and fight for the best possible outcome. 

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