At a time when many states are legalizing marijuana or adopting laws that are more lenient when it comes to marijuana-related drug offenses, Wisconsin continues to enforce harsh laws and penalties around marijuana.
Possession of any amount is considered a serious crime on the state level, with potentially terrible consequences. There is no safe amount of marijuana to possess that's OK in the state of Wisconsin. While some Wisconsin cities have decriminalized possession of a small amount, state-level charges come with strict penalties.
Even if you buy marijuana from a state where it is legal, it is illegal to have it in Wisconsin. The same goes for obtaining marijuana with a medical marijuana card from another state - this medical marijuana would not be legal to possess in Wisconsin.
What are the legal consequences of possessing or selling marijuana?
The first offense of possessing any amount of marijuana comes with penalties including up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If convicted, this would count as a misdemeanor crime on your criminal record.
There is no leniency in Wisconsin for a second or third offense of possessing marijuana. After the first offense, possession counts as a felony and carries with it a penalty of up to three-and-a-half years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Sale of any amount of marijuana in the Badger State is a felony-level offense. If convicted, you could face between three-and-a-half and 15 years in prison, with fines ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Subsequent offenses have additional penalties.
What are the long-term consequences of a marijuana conviction?
Many people do not realize that having a drug conviction on your criminal record, even if it was only marijuana, can hurt your future for years to come - or even a lifetime. It can impact many aspects of living a normal life, including:
- Housing: A drug conviction or a felony can make you ineligible to rent a home or be approved for a loan. You also would likely not qualify for government-subsidized housing or public housing.
- Jobs: Having a drug offense on your criminal record could cause you to lose job offers or not qualify to work for many companies or businesses. This obviously makes it extremely difficult to make a living or support your family.
- Schooling: If you decide to pursue higher education, a drug conviction makes you ineligible to receive federal student loans.
- Civil rights: If your drug conviction is a felony, you could no longer be able to do things like owning or possessing a gun.
Take the first step in defending yourself against harsh consequences
Given the severity of both short-term and long-term repercussions you could face if you are convicted of a marijuana-related drug offense in Wisconsin, it's important to pursue your best defense if you are charged with an offense related to marijuana.
The attorneys at Kim & LaVoy have helped countless people throughout Wisconsin build a strategic defense against these types of criminal charges and have hope for a better future.