Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has declared April 24th through the 30th a week to understand the impacts of marijuana and its illegal use in the state.
Monday, the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police held a Marijuana Education Summit in Casper, which featured speakers in law enforcement, healthcare, and other fields.
Rhea Parsons, the project coordinator for marijuana education and awareness at the association, said bordering Colorado where marijuana is legal has changed what types of cannabis make it into Wyoming.
“There’s just so much more exposure to all the products that are now available. Depending on where you are in the state can sort of determine what type of marijuana is found there. So there can be some parts where marijuana is smoked, but you get down closer to the southern part of the state, primarily what is seen by law enforcement are the edibles, consuming with your e-cigarettes,” Parsons said.
One of the big topics addressed at the summit was how much the drug has changed in recent decades, including having higher levels of the psychoactive chemical THC. Parsons said there are risks associated with a more potent drug.
“The biggest most prevalent one, of course, would be at risk of addiction for anybody that starts using under the age of 25. Their chances are one in six of becoming addicted,” said Parsons.
A 2016 study by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center revealed an increase in support for marijuana legalization in Wyoming. Efforts to get the issue on a statewide ballot in 2018 failed earlier this year.