Wisconsin Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. It is illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell marijuana in Wisconsin. While not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Wisconsin.

For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Wisconsin, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Wisconsin.

Marijuana Possession

It is a crime to possess any amount of marijuana in Wisconsin. Penalties vary according to whether the offense is a first or subsequent conviction, with 100 hours of community service in addition to these penalties for possession within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center, public park, pool, housing project, jail, or drug treatment facility. (Wisconsin Stat. Ann. §§ 961.41(3g) & 961.495.)

  • First conviction. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both.
  • Second and subsequent convictions. Second or subsequent convictions incur a fine of up to $10,000, up to three years and six months in prison, or both.

Cultivation and Sales

It is illegal to cultivate or sell any amount of marijuana (or possess marijuana with the intent to do so) in Wisconsin. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, grown, or sold; with increased penalties for sales to a minor or within a drug free school zone, or for second or subsequent offenses. (Wisconsin Stat. Ann. § 961.41(1).)

  • 200 grams or less; 4 plants or fewer. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to three years and six months in prison, or both.
  • More than 200 grams, up to and including 1,000 grams; 5 to 20 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to six years in prison, or both.
  • More than 1,000 grams, up to and including 2,500 grams; 21 to 50 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000, up to ten years in prison, or both.
  • More than 2,500 grams, up to and including 10,000 grams; 51 to 200 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000, up to 12 years and six months in prison, or both.
  • More than 10,000 grams; More than 200 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $25,000, up to 15 years in prison, or both.
  • Cultivation or sale within a drug-free zone. In addition to the penalties described above, offenses that occur within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center, public park, pool, housing project, jail, or drug treatment facility may incur up to five years of additional prison time. (Wisconsin Stat. Ann. § 961.49.)
  • Sale to a minor. In addition to the penalties described above, selling marijuana to a minor may incur up to five years of additional prison time. (Wisconsin Stat. Ann. § 961.46.)

Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal in Wisconsin to manufacture, sell, or use drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties for possession include a fine of up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, or both. Selling paraphernalia may be punished with a fine of up to $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both. And selling paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than the seller incurs a fine of up to $10,000, up to nine months in prison, or both. (Wisconsin Stat. Ann. § 961.573.)

Stamp Tax

A stamp tax is a tax imposed on certain types of transactions (such as the transfer of property) that requires a stamp to be purchased and attached either to the item sold or to an instrument documenting the transaction (such as a deed). The federal government imposes stamp taxes on deeds, the issue and transfer of stocks and bonds, and on playing cards.

In Wisconsin, those who buy, transport, or import marijuana into Wisconsin are required to pay a stamp tax and place the stamp (proof of payment) onto the contraband. However, because the possession of marijuana is illegal, people typically don’t pay the stamp tax. When you are convicted for possession, you will also be liable for payment of the unpaid taxes ($3.50 for each gram or portion of a gram). (Wisconsin Stat. Ann. § 139.88.)

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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