Rep. Byrd’s decriminalization bill, a fleeting victory
Last update: February 6, 2015
The 2015 session started off on a hopeful note for the Cowboy State when Rep. James Byrd introduced HB 29, a bill that would have replaced criminal penalties marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a speeding ticket. After winning support from the House Judiciary Committee in a 7-2 vote, the bill was quickly killed on the House floor, with two-thirds of representatives opposed.
Please write to your legislators and encourage them to support sensible reform like Rep. Byrd’s decriminalization proposal in future years. This type of reform is especially important considering the racial disparity found in marijuana possession arrests. According to the ACLU, African Americans in Wyoming are 3.2 times more likely to be arrested for simple possession than their white neighbors, despite similar rates of marijuana use.
No medical cannabis in the Equality State
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia now have functional medical marijuana programs. Almost 40% of Americans live in jurisdictions with compassionate medical marijuana laws, yet lawmakers in Wyoming have yet to even debate the issue. Please encourage your legislators to champion compassion and common sense by submitting a medical marijuana bill.
As we try to protect seriously ill patients from arrest, it is very important that Wyoming legislators hear from community opinion leaders on the issue. If you are a patient, a medical professional, a law enforcement official, or a clergy member, please email [email protected] to see how you can be of special help.
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