Wyoming is sandwiched between two states — Montana and Colorado — which have already legalized medical marijuana. Doesn’t that mean it’s just a matter of time before The Equality State equalizes things with its neighbors?
Well, no, at least not if you listen to state Senator Chris Rothfuss, who said he hasn’t heard of fellow lawmakers even discussing a Wyoming medical marijuana law, reports Bob Vines at the Northern Wyoming Daily News
Not only that, but Rothfuss, a Democrat from Laramie, said now may not be the time for the state to start looking at that possibility.
“We have a lot of things that we want to focus on that we consider to be high-priority issues,” Rothfuss said. “There’s a general sense that when we have such short terms (in session), nobody wants to get into these types of issues.”
|Wyoming State Senator Chris Rothfuss: “Nobody wants to get into these types of issues”
Rep. Mike Greear (R-Worland) said he’s surprised that the issue hasn’t been brought up already.
“I thought the subject was ripe for discussion,” Greear said. “But it was never brought up.”
Greear said no medical marijuana groups or lobbyists have contacted him, at all.
“I don’t recall even receiving a single email out of hundreds,” he said.
Although there is “some merit” to the issue, according to Rothfuss, the “problems” that other states have supposedly had implementing their laws (which, I should point out, have almost entirely been caused by misguided federal interference) concern Wyoming lawmakers.
“It’s a two-sided issue that’s a lot of work,” Rothfuss said. “We don’t have a model in another state to look at. [Editor’s note: This is false.] And as a result, I don’t think anyone wants to touch it.”
Colorado’s voters approved medical marijuana as a constitutional amendment in 2000. Montana’s voters overwhelmingly approved it in 2004, but after the number of cardholders in the state made the Republican-controlled Legislature uncomfortable, state lawmakers passed new, stringent requirements greatly limiting the effectiveness of the program.
The Montana crackdown bill is currently the subject of a legal battle after a district judge blocked some of the bill’s more onerous restrictions.
This is a little-known fact, but Wyoming did pass a medical marijuana law in the 2011 session. Only trouble is, it was a law making medical marijuana more illegal.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Edward Buchanan (R-Torrington), who really should take his head out his ass and have a look around occasionally, was overwhelmingly approved by the yee-haw cowboys who control both chambers of the Legislature.
It made prescribing or dispensing medical marijuana illegal, as well as “clarifying” that the state won’t recognize or accept medical marijuana cards from other states.
The new law strengthened a Wyoming Supreme Court ruling that people who get marijuana for medical reasons in states where it is legal are still subject to prosecution on Wyoming. “Equality State,” indeed.
Rothfuss, bless his heart, was one of only three senators to vote against that bill.
Greear, an attorney in Worland, voted for the bad law, which the Marijuana Policy Project
called “mean-spirited and pointless legislation.”
“Possession in Wyoming is illegal — it’s illegal federally,” Greear cluelessly blustered. “I’m not a big fan of passing any laws except for those that are necessary,” he lied. “I felt that it was a clarification point for county attorneys and for somebody that comes into this state with a medical marijuana card.”
Currently in Wyoming, those found in possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for any use are still subject to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The penalties go up from there.
So, marijuana activists, especially those of you in Wyoming? These gentlemen say they’ve never been contacted by a medical marijuana supporter. What are you going to do about that