Wyoming’s laws regarding possession of marijuana and driving while high are indirectly encouraging people to get stoned behind the wheel. Wyoming shares a border with Colorado and the latter state has allowed for the legal sale of marijuana at dispensaries since Jan. 1. However, Wyoming’s law actually encourage people traveling from Colorado to drive while stoned because the penalties for driving under the influence are far less severe than possession charges.
The laws for marijuana possession in Wyoming state that, “Individuals who have in their possession 3 ounces or less may be charged with a misdemeanor violation that carries a penalty of imprisonment for not more than 12 months, a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or a combination of both. If found with an amount of marijuana over 3 ounces an individual will be charged with a felony which can result in imprisonment for not more than 5 years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.00.”
However, a conviction of driving under the influence of marijuana calls for “imprisonment for not more than 6 months and/or a fine of not more than $750.00.” Most first-time offenders without a criminal record typically don’t receive jail time, instead paying a fine and possibly being sentenced to community service.
On New Year’s Day, an Iraq war veteran who suffers from PTSD became the first person to make a legal marijuana purchase in Colorado. In a staged ceremonial “first buy,” Sean Azzariti purchased an eighth of an ounce of “Bubba Kush” and a weed-laced truffle, spending $59.74 at Denver’s 3D Cannabis store. He told news outlets that marijuana helps alleviate the symptoms of his PTSD and later tweeted that “today I was fortunate enough to be the first recreational cannabis purchase in the world. We did it!!”