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Weed Worries as Our Neighbors Go Legal

In a case of worrying about your neighbors bad habits, Wyoming officials fear that laws in Montana and Colorado that permit marijuana use will lead to higher rates of use in our state. With Montana allowing marijuana for medical use and Colorado passing laws to make adult recreational use legal, it’s only a few hour’s drive from anywhere in Wyoming to one or the other of these states.

In our state, possession of any amount of weed starts with a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. That’s for less than an ounce, half of what is permitted for personal use in Colorado. As quantities go up, our penalties do as well.

In what might be called, “marijuana tourism,” those interested in getting high legally can drive into Colorado without having to worry about getting busted. In fact, last week a private club opened up there. It mimics the coffee shops in Amsterdam, only customers have to bring their own weed to share with others.

The problem arises when our citizens either drive back while stoned or try to bring marijuana into the state. Drugged driving is illegal and carries the same penalties as drunk driving, although there currently isn’t a test that gives a standard level of marijuana in the system like there is with alcohol. And of course, as soon as someone crosses the state line from either Montana or Colorado with marijuana in the vehicle, they are committing a serious crime.

A little more confusing would be how to treat those who show up positive on a drug test for marijuana. Since the drug stays in the body for up to several weeks, a positive test can only tell you that marijuana was used, not when. Theoretically, that means someone could travel to Colorado for a weekend, party and smoke weed, return to work and then get fired over a drug test – all while never doing anything illegal.

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