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WISCONSIN — Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, adults who are at least 21 years old in Illinois will be allowed to buy, and consume marijuana. The new state law will allow a person to have up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, up to five grams of cannabis concentrate such as oil, and up to 500 milligrams of a cannabis-infused product such as gummies or brownies.

And while many Wisconsin residents will likely make the trek south to the Land of Lincoln to partake, lawmakers and law enforcement officers in Wisconsin say they’re going to staunchly uphold the state’s existing marijuana laws. That’s because marijuana is illegal in Wisconsin.

Authorities in Kenosha County, for example, put out a special bulletin in December ahead of Illinois marijuana legalization. Kenosha County is located on the Wisconsin-Illinois border and officials say they expect a ton of activity over the state line from people who may claim to not know better.

In their bulletin, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said, “The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department recognizes that residents of Wisconsin can now travel to Illinois and consume recreational marijuana in Illinois, he said.

Beth went on to say that it will be “business as usual” for his Sheriff’s department – though the influx of a new type of traveler may mean anything but “business as usual.”

“In an effort to prevent confusion for the community traveling between the states, Sheriff David Beth reminds everyone that Wisconsin State laws and Kenosha’s local ordinances have not changed, and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s department will continue to operate as normal, enforcing these laws and ordinances.”

The City of Kenosha has a marijuana possession ordinance on the books. If a person is caught with up to one ounce of marijuana, they face a civil penalty ranging from $10 to $750 in fines, court costs and the possibility of up to 90 days of jail time. If a person is caught with more than one ounce of marijuana, they could face state charges, local ordinances say.

In Wisconsin, marijuana possession crimes escalate in a hurry. In Wisconsin, a first-time marijuana possession offense is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months behind bars and a $1,000 fine. If a person is caught a second time, they incur a felony charge with maximums of three-and-a-half years behind bars and a $10,000 fine.

Those penalties are in addition to those a person might get if they’re carrying drug paraphernalia – the tools used to process and administer drugs. According to state law, possessing drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 or up to 30 days of imprisonment.

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