According to a recent poll from the University of Wyoming, a huge majority of residents support the use of marijuana, but only if it comes with a physician’s recommendation. The recreational use of marijuana is still taboo for the majority of polled participants.
The survey was conducted by phone, during the month of October, and consisted of a sample of 768 Wyoming residents. According to a 2013 census, there are 582,658 people living in the state of Wyoming. According to the University of Wyoming poll, only 35 percent of people support the adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes. However, as long as a physician has recommended the use, the number of residents supporting jumps to 72 percent.
Although the majority may not support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 62 percent of those polled do believe that the current penalty for personal marijuana possession is too strict, and should not include jail time.
There have been previous attempts to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis for personal use in the state of Wyoming. Representative Jim Byrd of Cheyenne, sponsored a decriminalization bill last session, but it failed to receive enough support to receive a committee assignment. He intends to sponsor a decriminalization bill in the spring that will allow for adults to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis with risk of only a civil fine, rather than jail time. Byrd told the Billings Gazette that he expects to receive huge pushback from the pharmaceutical industry on this, and all future marijuana policy bills because of the threat marijuana poses to pharmaceutical company revenue. Even though he does not expect the bill to pass, he intends to spark discussions about reforming criminal sentencing and drug policy laws in the state.
photo credit: jimmywayne