Wyoming has three possibilities for upcoming marijuana reform


Red state are going green. We have recently reported that Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Alabama, which are all predominantly republican, are making strides towards legalization, or at least decriminalization, of marijuana.
Today we are adding another to that list — Wyoming.

State Representative Jim Byrd is sponsoring House Bill 49, which basically decriminalizes marijuana. It takes the stringent penalty of up to a 12 month incarceration time and a fine of $1,000 for a first time offender and an up to five-year prison sentence for a third offence to a simple $50 fine for under half an ounce and $100 fine for having between a half ounce and an ounce.
“We fill up our jails with young people,” Byrd told the Star Tribune. “We set all sorts of traps for young people. Look at the arrest rates for young people. Look at the arrests for marijuana. We ruin lives.”
Byrd went on to say that police officers are wasting time with petty marijuana violations, that even many police officers consider lesser offences.
Byrd isn’t the only one spearheading marijuana reform efforts in the state, however. Fellow Representative, Sue Wallis, is planning to unveil a medical marijuana Feb. 10, when the Wyoming Legislative session begins.
A local chapter of NORML has also started a petition to get a recrational initiative on the 2016 ballot. Under the group’s current proposal they will take legalization a couple steps further than Colorado or Washington by proposing that up to three ounces could be possesed. Under current regulations, three ounces is the current limit that can be possessed before being cited with a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
Despite the moves forward, there is still opposition from this very conservative, and apparently propaganda believing state.
“Most communities take marijuana very seriously,” executive director of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, Byron Oedekoven, told the Tribune. “Most people (who obtain pot) participated in a felony: They brought drugs in from Mexico.” (Yes, us high-grade cannabis tokers are apparently importing it straight from Mexican cartels and not our buddies basement.)
Oedekoven and his organization have not yet seen any of the legislation, but he says he believes members will oppose it. “Decriminalization is usually the first step on the path to legalization,” he said.
Whether the Association supports the bills or not, it is likely that there will be some sort of marijuana reform legislation on the ballot in the upcoming two years.