A bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana has been filed for the 2022 session of the Wyoming Legislature.

House Bill 106  would not legalize pot, as people possessing less than three ounces of pot would still be liable for a fine of up to $100.

That compares with a potential penalty of up to a year in jail and/or a fine of $1000 under current state law for possession of misdemeanor amounts of cannabis [under three ounces]. In 2021, a bill that would have legalized pot in Wyoming passed a House Judiciary Committee vote.

But legislative leaders effectively killed the 2021 pot legalization bill by not bringing it to a vote of the full house in time to meet a legislative deadline.

House Bill 106 is a somewhat more modest proposal than the 2021 pot legalization bill in that it doesn't call for full-scale legalization nor does it set up a regulatory system for allowing commercial cannabis stores to open in Wyoming, as that legislation would have done.

HB 106 is sponsored by Rep. Mark Baker [R-Sweetwater]. House Speaker Rep. Eric Barlow [R-Campbell County] is a co-sponsor and Reps. Burt, Olsen, Provenza, Romero-Martinez, Roscoe, Sweeney and Yin and Senator(s) Case and Rothfuss.

That group includes both Republicans and Democrats as well as the only Libertarian member of the legislature, Rep. Marshall Burt [L-Sweetwater County].

Nationally, 18 states have legalized recreational marijuana, including Wyoming's neighboring states of Montana and Colorado. South Dakota voters have also voted in favor of legal weed, but pot opponents in that state were able to overturn that vote in the South Dakota Supreme Court on a legal technicality. Cannabis supporters there are vowing to try again, however.

A number of other states have legalized medical marijuana. Pot technically is still illegal under federal law, but those laws have not been enforced in quite some time, despite the fact that federal law technically overrides state law under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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