Wyoming has experienced a recent push to legalize medical marijuana use, and Gov. Matt Mead wants to get ahead of it with an impact assessment council.
Mead announced his intent to create the council, which will report to the public on the effects of cannabis. The task force will look closely at issues such as health interests, costs and law enforcement concerns. Gov. Mead wants to have the team together before the Wyoming Legislature convenes next year.
In the past few months, cannabis legalization supporters filed the initial paperwork for a petition. With 25,000 valid signatures, a medical marijuana legalization measure can be put in front of voters in the 2016 general election.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead
The state’s National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is in charge of the petition effort. Despite this new push, Gov. Mead does not believe the plant’s usage will be legalized within state boundaries during the next election cycle.
Gov. Mead, a former federal prosecutor, has openly stated his opposition to cannabis legalization. Still, he has said the state should assess the effect of the plant’s recent recreational legalization in Colorado and Washington state. Additionally, the legalization of medical use in other states should also be studied. Gov. Mead stated,
“We recognize that whatever laws we have in Wyoming, whether they change or not, we still know that we’re impacted by other states and the laws that they have.”
The governor’s impact assessment council will include members of Mead’s office as well as budgetary officials. The Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving and the Wyoming Health Department will also take part in the task force.
Although Mead may be against cannabis legalization, he has stated,
“We need to gather as much data as we can.”
Given the push from pro-cannabis activists and the council planned as a result, the state stands to gain useful information for all governmental bodies concerning the effects of marijuana use.