Marijuana Laws and Charges

Marijuana Laws in Wisconsin

On April 16, 2014, marijuana became legal in Wisconsin for limited medical use. While it remains against the law to use or possess marijuana, the new law carves out an exemption for people who suffer from seizure disorders. Wis. Stat. 961.34(2). However, Wisconsin’s law allows for the use and possession of marijuana for medical purposes only under very strict circumstances and makes it challenging to actually legally obtain medical marijuana. As a result, it is easy for someone to inadvertently violate the law and be charged under Wisconsin’s marijuana possession laws.

If you are charged with marijuana possession, whether or not you have physician authorization, it is important that you contact a Wisconsin Medical Marijuana Attorney at Cafferty & Scheidegger, S.C., who is familiar with both the new medical marijuana law as well as the other laws related to marijuana possession. We will aggressively defend you against these charges.

What the Wisconsin Marijuana Laws Do and Do Not Provide

The Wisconsin marijuana laws legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a component found in marijuana, for people with epilepsy. It can only be dispensed by physicians or pharmacies that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to do so. However, patients who have approval to use medical marijuana are free to purchase it from other states, such as Nevada or Michigan, that can sell medical marijuana to approved out-of-state customers, and then use the marijuana in Wisconsin.

An important restriction is that the law does not protect the use of marijuana that causes psychoactive effects. In other words, even if you have authorization to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, you cannot use strains of marijuana that have enough THC to get “high.” CBD is a component in marijuana that does not cause psychoactive effects.

The new law does not allow patients to grow marijuana. It only allows the possession and use, not the cultivation.

Wisconsin Medical Marijuana Law does not allow grow operations

Consequences of a Conviction for Illegal Marijuana Possession

If you use, possess, distribute or cultivate marijuana in a manner not consistent with the medical marijuana law, then you can be prosecuted under Wisconsin’s marijuana possession or intent to distribute laws. If you are convicted of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana and it is your first offense, you face a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

For your second offense, you could go to prison for up to 3.5 years and face a $10,000 fine. The penalties are even more severe if you are charged with possession with the intent to sell. For possession with intent to sell less than 200 grams of marijuana, you face a sentence of up to 3.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the amount of marijuana is more than 10,000 grams, you face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact An Experienced Drug Offense Attorney

If you have been charged with marijuana possession and have been approved by a physician to use medical marijuana, you should immediately contact a lawyer who understands the new medical marijuana law, as well as the laws related to marijuana possession and distribution. Contact Cafferty & Scheidegger, S.C., at 262-632-5000 to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Racine and Kenosha medical marijuana lawyer. We serve clients throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.



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From our offices in Racine and Kenosha Wisconsin, the criminal defense lawyers at Cafferty & Scheidegger defend the rights of people charged with state and federal criminal offenses throughout Southeastern Wisconsin (Racine, Kenosha, Walworth). If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Racine federal criminal defense attorney right away. For urgent matters, you are welcome to call or text us 24 hours a day at ‪(262) 632-5000.


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The dedication of the team at Cafferty & Scheidegger to client service and their record of success has earned them listings as Wisconsin Super Lawyer® from 2008 through 2022. In addition, their reputation for high standards has earned them an AV Distinguished rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Cafferty & Scheidegger is backed by more than 28 years of trial skills and courtroom experience.

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