2016 Wyoming Legislature Review: Marijuana
While Wyoming lawmakers ended up not taking any action on marijuana during the session that wrapped up on March 4, it wasn't because of a lack of discussion.
With Colorado legalizing weed and similar moves underway in a number of other states, the issue is likely to continue to be discussed in future legislative sessions
State house members early in the session rejected a pair of proposals by Rep. JIm Byrd (D-Cheyenne). One would have decriminalized--but not legalized-marijuana, replacing the current penalties--which can include jail time-- with fines ranging from $50 to $100.
Supporters had argued the bill would have helped the state during it's current budget challenges by bringing in money through the fines as opposed to spending money prosecuting, and in some cases jailing. people for possession of marijuana.
But opponents raised concerns about stoned drivers and other social issues they say would accompany decriminalization. While Byrd's bill was voted down, he noted it has gradually picked up votes over the several years he has introduced the measure.
His other bill, which would have allowed non-resident holders of medical marijuana cards to legally posses pot, was likewise defeated.
Lawmakers later in the session wrestled with the issue of the legal status of edible products containing marijuana. While the senate passed a measure that would have made possession of more than three ounces of marijuana edibles a felony, mirroring the existing state law on pot in its plant form, a house committee committee removed the felony provision. The entire pot edibles bill then died the house because it wasn't acted on in time.
A district judge in Cheyenne last year dismissed charges against a man who had two pounds of pot edibles, ruling existing state law only applies to possession of marijuana in it's plant form.