Here is how they get busted: traffic stops and field interviews.
This is where they get busted: North of I-94 in the City of Milwaukee.
There are exceptions to all those rules, but the numbers show they are overwhelmingly true.
The Wisconsin Justice Initiative spent hours examining Milwaukee County Circuit Court filings to learn about the administration and consequences of the state law that makes possession of marijuana – second offense or greater a felony.
WJI is mapping the court cases on its website at The Pot Page. You can follow along as we map and describe the Milwaukee County cases. There are many more to come.
Yes, for anyone with a prior drug conviction – even a misdemeanor – having a joint in your pocket can be a felony.
Does anyone need reminding that recreational marijuana is perfectly legal in several other states?
In Milwaukee County, said District Attorney John Chisholm, the numbers of second possession marijuana cases has dropped dramatically over the years. He said his office generally does not charge second offense marijuana possession as a felony unless the offender has a previous felony or there is some other circumstance, such as having a gun, along with the marijuana.
But a district attorney’s charging decision comes only after arrest and referral by police. And the 30 cases mapped and detailed so far show that those arrested for felony marijuana possession are overwhelmingly of one race (87% black,) one gender (97% male), and from one side of Milwaukee (77% north of I-94).
Wisconsin’s felony marijuana statute is an increasingly antiquated law that needlessly stigmatizes people in a highly selective, discriminatory way and wastes taxpayer money in unnecessary arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration.
It’s time to change it.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative, which strives to improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.
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