Wyoming law creates perverse incentive to drive high when coming from Colorado

By George Chidi
Sunday, January 5, 2014 18:49 EDT
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Marijuana via AFP
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ThinkProgress took a look at the legal penalties a cannabis tourist in Colorado faces when coming over the border to Wyoming, after the state patrol in Wyoming posted a stern Facebook message warning people to leave their weed behind.

“Individuals who have in their possession 3 ounces or less may be charged with a misdemeanor violation that carries a penalty of imprisonment for not more than 12 months, a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or a combination of both,” the state police said. “If found with an amount of marijuana over 3 ounces an individual will be charged with a felony which can result in imprisonment for not more than 5 years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.00.”

However, a conviction of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance — like marijuana — calls for imprisonment for not more than 6 months and/or a fine of not more than $750.00.

“Admittedly, the actual sentences doled out by judges are typically governed by a wide range of factors such as sentencing guidelines, the particular circumstances of the crime and, often, the individual discretion of the sentencing judge,” ThinkProgress noted.

Colorado shares a border with Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

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