Wyoming’s progress towards a more liberal cannabis policy has been slow or nonexistent over recent years. A recent poll suggested that 81% of state residents are in favor of medical cannabis if prescribed by an authorized practitioner, though a separate study found that just 35% supported the idea of recreational cannabis legalization.
Is Recreational Marijuana Permitted in Wyoming?
Recreational cannabis is expressly forbidden in Wyoming, without exception. As cannabis possession in even tiny quantities has not been decriminalized, it remains a criminal offence to carry any amount of cannabis whatsoever. If you’re caught with less than 3 ounces on your person, you could be looking at a fine of $1000 and a year in jail.
Even as a first offence, jail time is often the preferred penalty of lawmakers for people caught carrying cannabis. If you have more than 3 ounces on your person at the time, the maximum fine is increased to $10,000 and jail time is upped to five years.
What About Medical Marijuana in Wyoming?
Likewise, Wyoming’s medical cannabis policy lags painfully behind the curve. A new law was introduced in 2015, which enabled individuals diagnosed with intractable epilepsy to access hemp extracts by way of a registration program. The new policy received heavy criticism before and after its introduction, as not only is the program limited to severe epilepsy patients, but therapeutic hemp extracts are already widely available across the United States and are legal at a Federal level.
Subsequent efforts were made to broaden and improve the state’s medical cannabis policy, though in all instances did not collect enough signatures to be brought forward. As things stand, Wyoming’s medical cannabis policy is considered fundamentally useless by the vast majority of patients, physicians and experts alike. Not only are the permitted low-THC products of rudimentary value at best, but there is currently no allowance for the production of the extracts within the state itself.
It is also illegal to carry such products across state lines, making it difficult or impossible for patients to obtain what they need elsewhere and bring it back home.
Additional Notes on Cannabis in Wyoming
Attempts to expand and improve Wyoming’s woeful medical cannabis policy in 2017 failed to progress beyond the committee stage. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of state residents are in favor of fair access to medical cannabis, state officials appear to have no intention of listening to the voice of the people.
Wyoming remains one of a select few North American states where possession of even the smallest quantities of cannabis is still a criminal offence. Even with a clean criminal record, you could be looking at a year in jail. Remarkably, being caught under the influence of cannabis is punished in the same way as possession. If you test positive for cannabis in your system, you could likewise be looking at jail time. Again, despite the fact that 72% of voters in Wyoming would choose to abolish jail time for small-scale cannabis possession.
Cannabis Sale and Distribution in Wyoming
Unsurprisingly, the state of Wyoming isn’t exactly liberal with its policy on illegal cannabis cultivation and distribution. Irrespective of whether you’re growing or holding cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, the same harsh penalties still apply.
Selling cannabis in any quantity whatsoever is a felony, punishable by a fine of $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail. Shockingly, simply being caught in possession of cannabis paraphernalia can likewise see you sent to jail for up to six months – even if it has never been used.
Will Wyoming Legalize Recreational Cannabis?
The words ‘fat chance’ come to mind…you can pretty much forget about it. Given the fact that the state continues to block all attempts to introduce a fair and appropriate medical cannabis policy, recreational weed is off the cards indefinitely.
But what’s most disappointing is the way in which state officials continue to completely ignore the opinions, wishes and preferences of Wyoming’s voters. 81% supporting a medical cannabis program that’s being repeatedly blocked, 72% opposing jail time for cannabis possession which is still routinely handed out.