The Wyoming Senate has amended a bill that would have made possession of three ounces of edible marijuana a felony.
Fearing that was too severe, the Senate changed the bill to say that three convictions in three years would equal a felony. But the first offense would be a low misdemeanor with a fine up to $300 and eight days in jail, while the second offense would equal up to 30 days in jail and a thousand dollar fine.
Casper Republican Bill Landen favored making it a low misdemeanor on a first offense.
“The amendment says look, we are gonna fine you $300, you might get six or eight days in jail, that to me folks is a little more reasonable and still accomplishes what we set out to do which is to say it’s not legal here. Let's use the ruler and not the hammer.”
Casper Senator Charles Scott feared that a felony on a first offense could get too many people in trouble.
“And with the attitudes I see in society, I think a good many perfectly reasonable citizens are likely to violate this law on a small scale. Some of them will get caught and I think it is unwise to rely too much on prosecutorial discretion.”
Amendment sponsor Curt Meier of LaGrange adds that the amendment also provides for necessary drug treatment. The bill will be debated for a final time Tuesday.