Bicycle Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Marijuana Possession

Possession of Marijuana in Wisconsin can be charged as a violation of State Statute, municipal ordinance explicitly adopting the Statute, or violation of a separate city, town, village etc. ordinance.  Charges can range from fine to misdemeanor to felony depending on whether the charge is possession only, possession with intent, distribution or some other charge, and the amoung of marijuana in question. 

Felony marijuana charges in Wisconsin can range from a class I felony for 200 grams or less or four plans or less to Class E felony for more than 10,000 grams or more than 200 plants.  There are also various felony charges in between for varying amounts of marijuan/ THC. 

Wisconsin controlled substance possession law generally states that no person may possess or attempt to possess a controlled substance unless the person obtains it directly from or pursuant to a valid prescription from a "practitioner."  In a recent dispute over whether a California Doctor's Prescription for marijuana allowed a Wisconsin resident to lawfully possess marijuana and paraphernalia, a Wisconsin Court of Appeal found that the prescription had to be from a doctor licensed in Wisconsin if the person was charged under Wisconsin State Statute.  In that case, the town charged the defendant under its own town ordinance which differed from the State Statute and the court found the town ordiance did not require a doctor licensed in Wisconsin. The court also found, "pharmacies can distribute ... marijuana to patients upon written prescription ... [and] practitioners can write prescriptions for the marijuana.”  The above case was not published meaning it could only be used as persuasive authority (it is not binding to a court and should not be relied on in any manner as the law). 

Marijuana cases are an interesting and ever changing area of the law. Some counties have claimed to not prosecute small amounts. Several states now changed laws to make it legal to smoke for different reasons. Wisconsin marijuana laws remain harsh and treat second offense as a felony. Wisconsin law regarding driving with marijuana states that it is illegal to drive with a detectable amount in a person's system. This is interesting considering that it is now legal to smoke in some states and marijuana stays in a person's system for a very long time. If someone smokes legally in Colorado, how long to they have to stay in Colorado before they can drive in Wisconsin without getting arrested, one day, one week, one month, life?

Another interesting aspect of our Nation's laws includes a recent Michigan Supreme Court case holding that a medical marijuana patient could not be charged with DUI just because of a detectable amount because if it was lawful for him to smoke, there needs to be more like evidence of impairment etc. This area of the law will continue to change and remain open for legal challenges as more and more people are supporting legalization.