Weekend Poll: Should Wyoming Pass A Bill To Legalize Pot?
A bill that would legalize marijuana in Wyoming as well as setting up a system to regulate legal weed has been filed in the Wyoming Legislature for the 2021 session.
You can read House Bill 209 here.
The bill would allow for the retail sales of cannabis to people over the age of 21, as well as setting up rules for the cultivation and transportation of marijuana. A fiscal note attached to the bill estimates it would raise just under $50 million per year in tax revenues. Most of that money--about $30 million--would go to the school foundation program.
Supporters of the measure argue that Wyoming's pot laws are outdated and say that state residents are currently buying weed in other states, especially Colorado. Many also say pot is a mild, relatively harmless substance and that law enforcement resources spent on enforcing pot laws could be better spent fighting more serious crimes and truly dangerous drugs, like meth and heroin.
But opponents of legal weed dispute those claims. They maintain that pot is a truly dangerous drug and that it is a gateway to harder drugs. They also claim the social damage that would result from legalizing marijuana would far outweigh the tax revenues it would generate.
Interestingly, both sides often point to Colorado to make their case. Supporters of legalization claim it has been a boon to that state, generating tax revenues far beyond what had been predicted and causing few or no serious problems. But opponents claim much of Colorado has been overrun by undesirable criminal elements and homeless people, drawn to the state by legal weed. They predict the same would happen in Wyoming if weed were to become legal.
So where do you stand? We'll publish the results of our poll next week.