The City of Monona passed a new ordinance eliminating fines for marijuana possession for those ages 21 and older. The vote was 4 – 3 in favor of the new fine. Four amendments were submitted to change the existing fine in place.
Those caught in possession of marijuana in public or a private home won’t receive a fine at all, according to Channel 3000 Madison. That is, as long as they age 21 or older. Smoking marijuana in public will still be a $200 fine. This resolution took 18 months to get to.
Monona police Chief Walter Ostrenga said, “I think it’s setting the values of the community. If the community values are, ‘Marijuana is not that serious of an offense’ and they want to have a $1 fine, or no fine, that’s their opinion.”
Former Madison NORML president, Gary Storck said, “It really isn’t worth their time to go out of their way to get somebody for a small amount of cannabis, especially when we’re in the middle of this opioid – I have to call it a health emergency – because despite all the laws the state has passed, the amount of overdoses keeps going up.”
Mayor Bob Miller said, “I can totally see both the arguments for and against, but I think there is an initiative, a charge coming forth that is going to be a reduction of those fines.”
Mayor Miller also said, “Rather than $1, it might be $10. It might be possession only in your home would be reduced. If you’re outside, then it’s possession over use.”
A date that the ordinance will go into effect was not released.