Wyoming marijuana activists have been working hard to put separate measures to legalize medical cannabis and decriminalize adult-use marijuana before voters next year. Libertarian Party and state Rep. Marshall Burt partnered with advocates to unveil the initial drafts of the proposals. This campaign came after state lawmakers advanced but failed to pass a bill to legalize marijuana this session.
After going back and forth with state officials on finalizing language for the ballot measures, submitting three rounds of drafts before landing on the latest versions, marijuana activists have their first victory. The secretary of state’s office approved the latest version of their proposed ballot language. Advocates now must get the requisite 100 signatures per initiative in order to proceed to the next step.
The medical cannabis proposal states that patients could purchase and possess up to four ounces of flower and 20 grams of “medical marijuana-derived products” in a 30-day period. Additionally, people with any of the more than a dozen qualifying conditions (ex. cancer, glaucoma, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, et al) would also be able to cultivate up to eight mature plants for personal use. That means consumers would be able to pack their bong full of medical cannabis with no worries.
A separate decriminalization measure would impose only small fines, without the threat of jail time, for various marijuana possession violations. A first and second offense would be considered a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine, a third and any subsequent offense would be penalized by a $75 fine. Cultivating marijuana would be punishable by a maximum $200 fine. People caught in possession of marijuana in excess of the four-ounce limit would face a maximum $500 fine. Those who are found to be under the influence of cannabis could be fined $50.
Wyoming isn’t the only state where voters could see cannabis reform on the 2022 ballot. Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia are all preparing and positioning various initiatives that would either decriminalize or legalize marijuana.
Under Wyoming’s medical cannabis initiative, the Department of Revenue’s Liquor Division would be responsible for licensing marijuana businesses.