Hey Everyone, I currently reside in Wisconsin, but I recently moved, and starting with the state I previously lived in which was Illinois the laws regarding marijuana usage are legal. In June 2019, Illinois Gov. Pritzker signed a bill into law that legalized recreational use of cannabis by adults. However, according to FindLaw (2022), cannabis usage is supposed to be smoked/consumed in either the person's home or in certain approved establishments. Even though you are not permitted to smoke in a public setting/place most [police will not arrest or ticket someone as they pose "no direct threat to public safety." As an officer, I would approach the individual and ask why she is smoking outside of her home and not technically on her property. I would then ultimately use discretion and just instruct her to stay on her property since I will not arrest or give a citation for something that in reality is legal to use. The use of cannabis by adults (age 21 and older) was first made legal by Illinois legislators through legislation rather than a voter initiative. After the law was passed on January 1st, 2020, authorized merchants were required to sell the herb to consumers. It's crucial to remember that landlords have the option of prohibiting smoking on their properties. However, law-abiding adults will still need to take reasonable precautions to refrain from smoking while they are in proximity to a person who is younger than 21 (Smith, 2023). However, in Wisconsin marijuana is not legal unless used with a medical marijuana card and only if it is in cannabidiol form and without psychoactive effects and to treat seizure disorders. So, depending on the town/city I work in I would approach this individual with an open mind but with questions about if she has a medical marijuana card. If not, then I would be compelled to give this woman a civil violation which carries a smaller fine instead of a misdemeanor which results in six months in jail and a fine up to $1000, or a class 1 felony.
However, if living in cities such as Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Marshfield, Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesa, and Wausau they will give out civil violations (Staff, 2020). Since marijuana usage is illegal there really is no big move for discretion, however, I could simply confiscate it and move on which I know of an officer doing here in Wisconsin. For me personally, if possible, I would use my discretion and if she isn't hurting anyone, and people around aren't complaining then I would just ask her to go into her home and then I would move on. References: Baudoin, J. (2022, November 21). MyStateline.com.MyStateline.com. https://www.mystateline.com/news/local-news/can-i-smoke-weed-in-my-yard-in-illinois- it-depends/ FindLaw. (2022). Illinois Marijuana Laws.Findlaw.https://www.findlaw.com/state/illinois- law/illinois-marijuana-laws.html Smith, M. (2023, February 28). WCIA.com.WCIA.com.https://www.wcia.com/news/illinois- news/can-i-legally-smoke-weed-in-my-yard-in-illinois/ Staff, F. (2020). Wisconsin Marijuana Laws.Findlaw.https://www.findlaw.com/state/wisconsin- law/wisconsin-marijuana-laws.html Thank you, Chelsea Simmons
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