History of CBD and Cannabis: Wyoming
By and large, Wyoming has some of the most harsh laws concerning cannabis possession and use than any other state. Although the vast majority of states have softened penalties, even carrying trace amounts of cannabis could land any resident a year of jail time.
In fact, carrying more than three ounces is considered a felony, which can incur several years to a lifetime prison sentence. Although no one has been sentenced to life in prison for cannabis charges, lawmakers have made no effort to change the formal laws surrounding marijuana regulation.
Cannabis, CBD, and Wyoming
In the early twentieth century, Wyoming joined several states growing increasingly paranoid about the role of cannabis in American society. Reporters would frequently imply that violent criminals used “Indian hemp” in order to commit evil, which caused marijuana to become associated with violence, family problems, and insanity.
By 1913, Wyoming had started to ramp up cannabis regulation by requiring that users first receive a doctor’s prescription. In less than a decade, regulation had tightened so much that cannabis was completely illegal by sale, distribution, and use by 1929.
Little about the law has changed since then. Nonviolent drug offenders, especially those from minority communities, continue to be targeted by law enforcement. Members of the state legislature continue to posit that legalizing marijuana will result in societal degradation.
However, there has been a slight shift in both the enforcement of laws and residents’ opinion on cannabis. While the legislature has made little movement, some cities are deciding to de-prioritize nonviolent drug offense arrests and commit police forces to other activities. Many urban users state that they’ve never received jail charges, despite having to pay fines for marijuana possession.
According to the University of Wyoming, recent polling indicates that around thirty-five percent of residents support full legalization, which represents a modest increase in support from four years prior.
Additionally, the vast majority of residents are completely in favor of medical marijuana prescribed by a physician. It’s likely that these trends of support will just continue to grow over time, especially as academic research shows the health benefits of cannabis and CBD products.
Although there are no formal channels to secure medical marijuana, CBD oil crafted from industrially certified hemp may now be prescribed by a doctor. It’s likely that Wyoming will be one of the last states to budge on their policies of cannabis criminalization.