An ordinance to decriminalize marijuana within the city of Cheyenne failed to pass a second reading on a 6 to 3 vote during Monday night's City Council meeting.

Sponsored by Council President Richard Johnson and Ward I Councilman Scott Roybal, the proposed ordinance would have eliminated municipal prohibitions governing marijuana, meaning any criminal charges would have had to go through the Laramie County District Attorney's Office or United States Attorney's Office.

"I've heard the cart before the horse analogy that all of a sudden people are going to be lighting up or hitting their pens and stuff during the Fridays in the depot," said Johnson.

"If you're going to make yourself a target, guess what, you're going to get arrested, it's still illegal in the state of Wyoming," he added. "What this only meant was that you weren't going to be charged in municipal court."

Laramie County Republican Rep. Ben Hornok questioned whether the city could even enact such an ordinance.

"It would kind of be going around and in a back door and I don't believe that's part of the city's responsibility," said Hornok. "I think the state needs to act on this first."

A bill to decriminalize cannabis was filed in the Legislature in 2022, but the House didn't consider it for introduction.

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