Recently Drafted Bill Would Lower Marijuana Penalties

Jan 8, 2015

A bill drafted for the upcoming Wyoming legislative session would attempt to lower penalties for possession of small amounts of Marijuana. Representative Jim Byrd of Cheyenne is sponsoring the bill which would make possession of less than an ounce of Marijuana a civil fine instead of a felony.

House Bill 29 would only fine citizens up to $100 for one ounce of the drug.  A third possession offense could carry jail time and probation, but that punishment would not be mandatory and would be left up to the judge.

Byrd, a Democrat says the current laws are far too strict and are burdening the state.

The new minimum security prison that we built in Torrington is full. Rawlins is full, all of our other facilities are full.

"We spend a lot of time and a lot of money on the prison systems, the jail systems," says Byrd. "Our jails are presently full. The new minimum security prison that we built in Torrington is full. Rawlins is full, all of our other facilities are full. So we have no problem arresting people and throwing them in jail, which is part of the problem."

If the law passes it would be effective July of this year.