Mayor Harter vetoes marijuana ordinance

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Possession of small amounts of marijuana in La Crosse won’t be decriminalized after all.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Matt Harter vetoed the measure, which was passed last week by the city council.

It would have allowed police to issue a ticket, instead of a criminal charge, to a person caught for the first time with seven grams of marijuana or less. Harter says the police department was against the idea, and would not have used the ordinance. He also says it was sending a bad message.

“This ordinance will have little to no impact if passed other than sending the message that the governing body of the city may be increasing tolerance for substance abuse or the use of marijuana. This is not in the best interest of the city to pass,” said Mayor Matt Harter.

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Supporters of the ordinance say it would have given police more flexibility when dealing with first time offenders.

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