Online Poll: Should Wyoming Decriminalize Marijuana?
The Cheyenne City Council on Monday night voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution calling on the state of Wyoming to decriminalize cannabis.
You can read the resolution passed by the council here.
The resolution takes note of a 2020 University of Wyoming survey as evidence of public support for loosening restrictions on weed:
''Pursuant to a 2020 Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC) conducted by the University of Wyoming, over half, fifty-four percent (54%) of Wyoming residents now say they support allowing adults in Wyoming to legally possess cannabis for personal use, and eighty-five percent (85%) of Wyoming residents say they support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes;"
It's important to note that decriminalization is not the same as full legalization. If pot is decriminalized, people caught with marijuana would still be subject to a small fine, similar to the fines handed out for routine traffic offenses. But no one would go to jail for small amounts of cannabis.
Full legalization on the other hand would remove all penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Wyoming is one of only four states where recreational and medical marijuana remain illegal. Wyoming legislative leaders killed a 2021 bill to legalize marijuana by refusing to bring the measure to a floor vote after it had passed a legislative committee on a 6-3 vote.
Proponents of Wyoming's current marijuana laws say weed is a dangerous drug and should not be tolerated. Some argue that it is a "gateway'" drug to leads to the use of harder drugs such as meth and fentanyl. Some also claim legalization of cannabis in Colorado has led to big increases in crime and emergency room visits.
Supporters of decriminalization argue that marijuana causes relatively little harm to users and say spending resources and time arresting and prosecuting people for pot is wasteful and pointless.
Supporters of full legalization point to the tax revenues generated by legalization in Colorado and other states. They also say it's irrational to spend time and money going after people for cannabis when those resources could be spent combatting the use of truly dangerous drugs like fentanyl and meth.
So where do you come down in this debate? Take our poll and give us your opinion!