Council Considers Pros & Cons of Legalizing Pot
The Governor’s Marijuana Impact Assessment Council met for the first time Wednesday in Cheyenne.
The 20-member council is considering the public health and safety impacts of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use.
Governor Matt Mead told the council it would be unwise to ignore how marijuana legalization elsewhere is affecting the state or what could happen if pot became legal.
"We suffer because of substance abuse in this state and I remain against legalizing another substance that could add to the existing problem," said Governor Mead. "I want the voters of Wyoming to have access to good scientific evidence and a fair look at the pros and cons of the legalization of marijuana."
Representative Jim Byrd, D-Cheyenne, says Wyoming isn't ready for full legalization. He says the state needs to watch Colorado for a couple more years to see how they handle legalized pot.
"When you have the opportunity to watch one of your close neighbors execute something you should treat that as an open laboratory, so you don't make the same mistakes they do," said Representative Byrd. "If we find ourselves in a place where we are headed for full legalization then we should already have that information at our fingertips."
Colorado voters approved medical marijuana in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2012.
Activists plan to gather enough signatures to put the question of medical marijuana before Wyoming voters in 2016.