MANITOWOC — First-time offenders of the city's new marijuana and drug paraphernalia ordinance will have to account for hefty bond amounts after Monday's Manitowoc Common Council meeting.
In June, the council moved to make possession of marijuana an ordinance violation instead of a misdemeanor charge in circuit court.
Under the recently adopted rules, first-time offenders caught with less than 8 grams will receive a city ticket. Those caught with more than 8 grams of marijuana will face a misdemeanor charge, and second and later offenses will be handled in circuit court, District Attorney Mark Rohrer said in February.
On Monday, the council voted unanimously to adopt bond amounts that were recommended by Municipal Judge Daniel Glaeser.
Adults found in possession of marijuana will have to pay a $300 bond and get a minimum six-month driver's license suspension. For possession of drug paraphernalia, adults will have to pay a $150 bond and get a six-month or longer driver's license suspension.
A juvenile in possession of marijuana will have a $150 bond and a six-month or longer suspension of the juvenile's driver's license. For possession of drug paraphernalia, juveniles will have a bond amount of $75 plus costs and will have their driver's license suspended for six months or longer.
"I think it's reasonable," said Alderman Paul Tittl. "I believe that it is painful enough to cause people to think twice … There has got to be some teeth to it for it to be effective."
The city ordinance prevents a county circuit court judge from expunging the offender's record after the sentence is served. The conviction will appear if there are any future offenses because a city citation can't be expunged.
Previously, suspects tried their case in circuit court where they faced the possibility of $1,000 in fines, six months in jail and a six-month driver's license suspension.