Summary Language Finalized For Wyoming Pot Ballot Proposals
The Wyoming Attorney General's Office has signed off on summary language for a pair of ballot proposals to change Wyoming's marijuana laws, according to a group that wants to get the issue before voters in 2022.
One of the proposals would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Wyoming. The other would decriminalize, but not legalize possession of cannabis. Supporters are hoping to get the issue before voters in next year's General Election.
According to the Facebook page for the Wyoming chapter of NORML [National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws], the AG returned the following summary language yesterday:
Wyoming Patient Cannabis Act of 2022
“Shall a law be enacted authorizing the Wyoming Liquor Division to regulate the cultivation, sale, and use of medical marijuana for medical treatment?”
Wyoming Cannabis Amendments
“Shall a law be enacted to reduce criminal penalties for the cultivation, possession, use, and transfer of marijuana?”
The proposals still face a long process before getting on the ballot. The Wyoming Secretary of State's Office website says it will require roughly 41, 000 signatures of registered voters for 2022:
''41,776 (equal to 15% of those who voted in the preceding general election and signed by voters equal in number to 15% of those residents in at least two-thirds of the counties in the state, as determined by those who voted the preceding general election in that county.)"
But even if a proposal makes it to the ballot, winning final approval is not easy. The proposal must win a majority of all people voting in the election, not simply those who vote specifically on the proposal.
That essentially means that people who choose not to vote on the issue count as no votes. Wyoming is considered one of the most difficult states to get a ballot initiative approved in. One has not been approved by voters since 1992.
Supporters of the initiatives can take comfort in the fact that there seems to be strong public support for changing the state's pot laws, according to numerous surveys.
A University of Wyoming poll released in December of 2020 found 54 percent of state residents supported legalizing marijuana entirely, while a whopping 85 percent supported medical marijuana.
Both of those numbers have been trending strongly upwards in a series of polls of state residents over the past decade or so.