Marijuana, or Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), is legal for recreational use in multiple states across the US. Many states have decriminalized possession of THC where use is punishable by a civil forfeiture. Furthermore, thirty three states have passed Medical Marijuana laws in one form or another and eleven states have outright legalized it. The pendulum is swinging towards legalization throughout the country. Societal attitudes towards pot and pot laws are shifting.
Nation wide Marijuana laws are changing. But as of today, it remains illegal on the federal level as well as in Wisconsin. On a local level, the City of Madison has decriminalized casual possession of “not more than twenty-eight (28) grams of cannabis, or one hundred and twelve (112) grams of marijuana.” Madison, WI Ordinance 23.20 Regulations Concerning Marijuana and Cannabis.
But the fact of the matter is that until the State of Wisconsin and the Federal government change their marijuana laws it is still illegal. Police may, and likely will, charge you on a state or federal level if you are caught possessing THC, even in the City of Madison. Possession of THC is still a common drug crime. You will face serious penalties if convicted.
Types of Criminal Charges for Marijuana in Wisconsin
Possession of THC
Possession of marijuana (THC) can be a criminal offense in Wisconsin. Under Wisconsin state law the penalty for a simple first offense possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor. If convicted, it is punishable by a fine of up to $1000 or imprisonment of up to six months or both. A second or subsequent offense for possession can be charged as a felony. This is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or 3.5 years imprisonment or both. More information can be found at our possession of a controlled substance page. However, many cities and counties are prosecuting small amounts of marijuana as a forfeiture citations. It is also common for an individual to be placed on the first offenders program or to be given the chance of expungement.
Conditional Release and Diversion for Pot Cases
Individuals facing a THC charge for the first time may take advantage of conditional release. Wisconsin allows conditional release or a diversion sentence for individuals facing their first offense. An individual may opt for probation, and then upon successful completion of probation, the charges are dismissed. The first offenders program in many counties can be a similar resolution.
Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. has been successful in defending against possession charges. Many of our clients have been offered a resolution that end with their charges being dismissed. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.
Manufacturing and Delivery of THC
As far as drug charges go, manufacturing and delivery are the most severe. Delivery of marijuana is no different. Just as with other controlled substances, the penalties for manufacturing or delivering THC are based on the amount of THC alleged to have been manufactured or delivered. Wisconsin Statute § 961.41 (1)(h) provides the following:
If the person violates this subsection with respect to tetrahydrocannabinol, included under s. 961.14 (4) (t), or a controlled substance analog of tetrahydrocannabinol, and the amount manufactured, distributed or delivered is:
1. Two hundred grams or less, or 4 or fewer plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the person is guilty of a Class I felony.
2. More than 200 grams but not more than 1,000 grams, or more than 4 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol but not more than 20 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the person is guilty of a Class H felony.
3. More than 1,000 grams but not more than 2,500 grams, or more than 20 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol but not more than 50 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the person is guilty of a Class G felony.
4. More than 2,500 grams but not more than 10,000 grams, or more than 50 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol but not more than 200 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the person is guilty of a Class F felony.
5. More than 10,000 grams, or more than 200 plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the person is guilty of a Class E felony.
Madison, WI Marijuana Defense Attorneys
A conviction for any marijuana related charge can have serious consequences. Whether you are charged with a first offense possession or possession with intent to deliver, we can help. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can go it alone. Pot laws are changing, but until it is legal, you need representation! Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. are experienced marijuana defense attorneys in Madison, WI.