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Wyoming lawmakers to examine overhauling marijuana penalties

Legalization Posted Oct 9 2016

No legislation has been written yet, but Wyoming lawmakers are discussing a proposal that would create a tiered penalty system for marijuana offenses, with the first offense being a misdemeanor with a $250-1,000 fine. Each additional marijuana offense would come with harsher punishments including possible jail time, with the fourth offense resulting in a felony. Penalties for distribution would remain under current laws, and a weight limit will be set that could qualify offenders for a higher penalty or felony. Current state law in Wyoming only penalizes plant forms of marijuana, as the previous legislation covering edible marijuana had been thrown out, though the suggested new system would include edibles as well. 

The proposal came out of the Joint Judiciary Committee’s discussion on Thursday, which included testimony from the state crime lab, the Wyoming Department of Health, a Wyoming NORML representative and Laramie County District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg.

Current state law only addresses the plant form of marijuana, and courts have ruled that marijuana-infused products may not be able to be prosecuted under the law.

“That loophole actually creates a danger spot where a joint of marijuana is going to get you into trouble but a pound of brownies is not,” said Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Alta.

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