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A Ticket For Possesion

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Possession of marijuana in Manitowoc might soon be an ordinance violation – meaning offenders would only be issued a city citation for the crime.

On Monday, the city's Public Property and Safety Committee discussed the possibility of giving police officers the choice of ticketing first-time marijuana possession offenders or sending them to circuit court to be charged with a misdemeanor.

Currently, all alleged offenders are charged in circuit court with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and face up to $1,000 in fines, six months in jail and a six month driver's license suspension, according to Manitowoc County District Attorney Mark Rohrer.

Rohrer, who attended Monday's meeting, likened the proposal to that of first-offense drunken driving, which is already a city-issued citation.

"It just makes sense," Rohrer said about the proposal.

Officers would have the option of ticketing first-time offenders caught with 8 grams or less of the drug. Anyone caught with more than 8 grams would automatically be charged with the misdemeanor, Rohrer said.

The second and subsequent offenses would be handled in circuit court, Rohrer said.

Having an ordinance would prevent a county circuit judge from expunging the offender's record after the sentence is served, Rohrer said.

A city citation can't be expunged, Rohrer said, which means the conviction would appear if there are any future offenses, and possibly increase those penalties.

The fines for the municipal citation for the proposal have not been set, according to Committee Chairman Paul Tittl.

The idea of a marijuana possession ordinance surfaced at a Manitowoc County Police Chief's meeting, Manitowoc Police Chief Perry Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury supports the proposal and said all county municipalities are likely to adopt similar ordinances.

Kiel already has a possession of marijuana ordinance, Kingsbury said, and Two Rivers Police Chief Joe Collins, who attended Monday's meeting, said he supports the idea.

Tittl said he would support the proposal, which is expected to be discussed by the Common Council possibly next month.



Source: Manitowac Herald Times Reporter
Author: Kevin Braley
Contact: kbraley@htrnews.com
Copyright: htrnews.com
Website: Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter
 
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