Legal loopholes in Wyoming’s Marijuana laws are forcing the state to reconsider their regulations. A recent case wherein First District Court Judge Steven Sharpe dismissed a man that was accused of possessing enough edible marijuana in his car revealed that the existing laws only consider harboring marijuana’s plant form as a felony.
The existing law, on the other hand, does not mention products that contain marijuana, which state judges consider as a critical loophole in their laws.
Pot Edibles and Products
The controversial loophole is causing concerns among the judge’s circles, with many saying that the new law is not strict enough to fully regulate marijuana within the state. The incident happened on April 13 when a Wyoming Highway Patrol stopped a motorist because of an alleged traffic violation.
The trooper smelled marijuana and found over 1.9 pounds of marijuana in the form of cookies, bread, chocolate bars, and candies. The current laws state that more than being found with over three ounces of marijuana is a felony, but this only applies if it is still in its plant form.
The motorist was tried for possession, but he argued that since he wasn’t carrying more than three ounces of marijuana in plant form, he should neither be prosecuted or tried in court. His case was eventually filed and settled, but only as a misdemeanor.
Catherine Rogers, another Laramie County District judge said in response to Sharpe’s decision that “I have concerns about these cases based on the rationale in my colleague’s decision letter, but every case is always going to be weighed on facts and the testimony that is presented to the court in that case, and also in the way that is charged.
Strengthening the Laws
Now, the Joint Judiciary Committee is proposing that police and prosecutors weigh marijuana in its entirety in all manner of edible form, including flour, chocolate, or other ingredients, and take these into consideration when determining the amount of marijuana as an edible.
The newer, stricter laws would state that possession of over three ounces of edible marijuana would change the charge from a misdemeanor to a full blow felony and comes with up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Although the new laws may fully dissuade people from purchasing and carrying marijuana over three ounces, John Jolley of the Wyoming State Crime Laboratory said that the equipment required for more extensive testing is expensive, and it isn’t easy to determine in an edible the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol.
The committee is planning to discuss the proposition this coming November. Only time will tell if these new laws will truly strengthen the regulations against possessing marijuana.