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CHEYENNE – Wyoming does have laws regulating the use of CBD oil, so users should make sure they have the necessary registration card or be sure the oil is free of THC, the principal psychoactive chemical in marijuana, according to state officials.

The Wyoming Legislature recently debated whether to strengthen laws pertaining to edible or concentrated marijuana, once again failing to reach agreement on the issue. But some, particularly those suffering from chronic illness, are demanding clarity on an element of cannabis that lacks psychoactive properties – cannabidiol, most notably found in CBD oil.

Cannabidiol is one of the two main molecules in marijuana, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is known to have mind-altering effects.

Recent studies suggest that CBD oil may treat epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer. The molecule attaches itself to certain receptors in the body to act as a pain reliever, using methods similar to those of THC without the associated high.

Last year, a report from the World Health Organization found that no public health problems are associated with the use of CBD, suggesting it has little potential for abuse.

Wyoming is one of a number of states that have not legalized marijuana but have laws directly related to CBD and other hemp extracts.

During the 2015 legislative session, Wyoming’s “hemp extract bill” legalized the use of these products for registered epileptic patients. The extracts must be extremely low in THC and high in CBD – those containing less than 0.3 percent THC and more than 5 percent CBD by weight are legal with a registration card.

The law requires neurologists to provide a statement to the Wyoming Department of Health detailing how a patient would benefit from hemp extracts, after which they may qualify for registration.

Since 2015, 34 applications have sought permission, with 26 unique cards issued, which must be renewed annually, according to Wyoming Department of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti.

About nine people in Wyoming have active, approved cards.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation says CBD oils are being distributed at multiple locations throughout Wyoming, including in pet stores, convenience stores and grocery stores.

In Wyoming, it is illegal to possess, use or distribute any substance containing THC without this hemp extract registration card.

“The CBD oils are legal to possess as long as they do not have THC in them,” DCI Commander Matt Waldock said. “But, if the CBD oils contain even a trace of THC, the only way to legally possess it is with a card.”

That said, it can be difficult to know exactly how much, if any, THC exists in CBD oils.

“I don’t know how accurate the THC contents are,” Waldock said. “Businesses may be selling CBD oil that says it has none, but we have tested some and found trace amounts. I think the quality control there is lacking on the testing process, but the bottom line is right now we are trying to educate people.”

CBD oil is marketed in everything from liquid drops to lotions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve these products for any purpose, which means their production and distribution are not subject to federal regulation.

For this reason, it can be difficult to know whether a product has the properties stated on its packaging.

If someone is caught with THC-laced CBD oil, the DCI has the legal authority to charge them with possession of a controlled substance, but Waldock said the department is looking to set the record straight first.

“Obviously, if we were going to charge someone, we would work with the jurisdiction and get multiple opinions on what we should do about it. But I think there is some confusion about this topic, so I would like people to have the right information first.”

Waldock also said it can be difficult to determine if a product is laced with THC, due to limited personal-use testing facilities in the state.

“Just use your best judgment,” he said.

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CHEYENNE – State laws regarding various controlled substances are sometimes puzzling, especially when it comes to cannabis.

The Wyoming Legislature recently debated whether to strengthen laws pertaining to edible or concentrated marijuana, once again failing to reach agreement on the issue. But some, particularly those suffering from chronic illness, are demanding clarity on an element of cannabis that lacks psychoactive properties – cannabidiol, most notably found in CBD oil.

Cannabidiol is one of the two main molecules in marijuana, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is known to have mind-altering effects.

Recent studies suggest that CBD oil may treat epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer. The molecule attaches itself to certain receptors in the body to act as a pain reliever, using methods similar to those of THC without the associated high.

Last year, a report from the World Health Organization found that no public health problems are associated with the use of CBD, suggesting it has little potential for abuse.

Wyoming is one of a number of states that have not legalized marijuana, but have laws directly related to CBD and other hemp extracts.

During the 2015 legislative session, Wyoming’s “hemp extract bill” legalized the use of these products for registered epileptic patients. The extracts must be extremely low in THC and high in CBD – those containing less than 0.3 percent THC and more than 5 percent CBD by weight are legal with a registration card.

The law requires neurologists to provide a statement to the Wyoming Department of Health detailing how a patient would benefit from hemp extracts, after which they may qualify for registration.

Since 2015, there have been a total of 34 applications made, with 26 unique cards issued, which must be renewed annually, according to health department spokeswoman Kim Deti.

Right now, there are approximately nine individuals with active, approved cards in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation says CBD oils are being distributed at multiple locations throughout Wyoming, including in pet stores, convenience stores and grocery stores.

In Wyoming, it is illegal to possess, use or distribute any substance containing THC without this hemp extract registration card.

“The CBD oils are legal to possess as long as they do not have THC in them,” DCI Commander Matt Waldock said. “But, if the CBD oils contain even a trace of THC, the only way to legally possess it is with a card.”

That said, it can be difficult to know exactly how much, if any, THC exists in CBD oils.

“I don’t know how accurate the THC contents are,” Waldock said. “Businesses may be selling CBD oil that says it has none, but we have tested some and found trace amounts. I think the quality control there is lacking on the testing process, but the bottom line is right now we are trying to educate people.”

CBD oil is marketed in everything from liquid drops to lotions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve these products for any purpose, which means their production and distribution are not subject to federal regulation.

For this reason, it can be difficult to know whether a product has the properties stated on its packaging.

If someone is caught with THC-laced CBD oil, the DCI has the legal authority to charge them with possession of a controlled substance, but Waldock said the department is looking to set the record straight first.

“Obviously, if we were going to charge someone, we would work with the jurisdiction and get multiple opinions on what we should do about it. But I think there is some confusion about this topic, so I would like people to have the right information first.”

Waldock also said it can be difficult to determine if a product is laced with THC, due to limited personal-use testing facilities in the state.

“Just use your best judgment,” he said.

Chrissy Suttles is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s business and health reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or 307-633-3183. Follow her on Twitter at @chrissysuttles.

To go directly to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s website, click here.

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Even local law enforcement poked fun at the day.

Tweets from University of North Dakota Police and Fargo Police announced contests with prizes going to who can bring in the most marijuana, and Wyoming, Minnesota police set up what they call “Munchie Traps.”

Marijuana for recreational use is illegal in North Dakota, but one man is hoping to change that.

“It’s ending the prohibition, full legalization.”

Josh Dryer is the campaign manager for the Legalize North Dakota Campaign.

He says over the winter, his campaign has gained momentum.

“We hit 8,000 signatures just right after the winter was over. We’re already now up to 11,000,” says Dryer.

Right now, eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Dryer says with other states legalizing it, the stigma about marijuana users is beginning to disappear.

“The good thing about other states legalizing it, is now these people are coming forward. You know, it’s not the image of the lazy teenager on the couch anymore.”

The petition needs 13,500 signatures by July to put the bill on the ballot.

Opposers raise questions about drug-impaired driving and minors who are under the influence, but some in Fargo say they wouldn’t be opposed.

Here’s what a few had to say:

“I would say legalize because there are more people dying off of alcohol than anyone’s ever died off of marijuana.”

“As a six-year opiate addict, I think it’s a really beneficial change.”

“I see the benefits that have come from it in Colorado, and just like the economy growth and all that stuff. So, if it was an option, I’d probably vote yes.”

Medical marijuana in North Dakota was made legal in 2016, with 63 percent of voters voting “yes.”

The Department of Health is in the process of choosing application periods for dispensaries and caregivers.

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A toke might make things feel a little simpler, but there’s no denying that marijuana laws are downright complicated. While marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and the District of Columbia, that could mean anything from dispensaries on every block to a complicated system of “gifting” pot. And medical marijuana? In some states that means anyone with a sore foot can legally buy a bag of green, while in others it means that only severely ill patients – those who suffer from diseases like cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis – have access to oils and tinctures. Even in states where it’s still entirely illegal, sometimes getting caught with pot can mean the cost of a parking ticket, while other times it can mean a year behind bars.

Confused? We were, too. With that in mind, here’s a brief state-by-state guide to weed across America. 


Alaska
In Alaska, adults 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants, but no more than three mature plants for non-commercial purposes. You’re not allowed to smoke in public. 

Patients registered with the state’s a medical marijuana program can use weed to treat a host of serious conditions from cachexia (wasting disease), nausea and chronic pain to cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis. There are an estimated 1,178 registered patients in Alaska.

Due to weather conditions, marijuana is grown indoors most of the year, raising concerns about the energy impact of increased indoor lighting as the industry grows.


Arizona
Pot is illegal in Arizona – possession of any amount is a felony. However, the state has a thriving medical marijuana industry, with operational 130 dispensaries. Patients suffering from severe conditions like cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C and agitation from alzheimer’s disease to have two and a half ounces of pot. Of the 152,979 estimated registered patients, a large majority are chronic pain sufferers.

Arizona’s medical marijuana law does not require testing for contaminants, an oversight that leaves users vulnerable to marijuana polluted by molds and pesticides.


Alabama
Pot is illegal in Alabama – a single joint can lead to a year in prison – and the state does not have a medical marijuana program, although the use of CBD is permitted for epilepsy or allowed in clinical trials.


Arkansas
Pot is illegal in Arkansas, with stiff penalties for people caught with even less than 4 ounces – even first-time offenders can get up to a year in prison for possession. A medical marijuana program is in the works, but a court order has temporarily halted licensing to growers. Eventually, a wide range of conditions, including PTSD, will qualify patients for medical pot and they’ll be able to purchase 2.5 ounces from a dispensary every 14 days.

California
The recreational use of marijuana is legal in California. Adults 21 and over can possess up to one ounce, although the sale of any amount of pot remains a misdemeanor punishable with up to 6 months. Adults can also cultivate up to 6 plants.

The legalization of marijuana in the state was preceded by a medical marijuana program. Any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been “deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician” qualified patients for the use of medical pot and patients could get as much pot as they need. State law doesn’t limit the amount that can be grown for personal medical use.

Commercial growers are required to store water during the wet winter season. However, unless regulators monitor growers consistently, they might be tempted to divert water from streams, endangering salmon in the area. Meanwhile, illegal grow operations continue to pose an environmental threat in California’s forests. Just last year, a team of researchers found traces of dangerous pesticides and human waste at illegal grow sites near waterways.

Click here for our full user’s guide to legal marijuana in California. 


Colorado
In Colorado, adults 21 and over can have up to an ounce of marijuana and are allowed to share their weed. They can also grow up to 6 plants.

The state’s medical cannabis law restricts use to two ounces and patients can register for wide-ranging conditions, from cachexia and cancer to PTSD. There are state-licensed dispensaries operational and 93,372 registered patients.

Critics say the state missed a critical opportunity to create an environmentally friendly industry with the passage of Amendment 64. Several years after legalization, energy demand in Denver increased, as did water use in the drought-ridden state.

The city of Denver recently released a best practices working paper, including instructions for water recycling (water recapture and reuse) and organic waste management, like composting and Bokashi fermentation, a method of pickling waste.

Click here for our full user’s guide to legal marijuana in Colorado. 


Connecticut
Pot is against the law in Connecticut, but the possession of small amounts has been decriminalized. First and second offenses of less than a half-ounce yield a civil penalty of $150 and $200 to $500 respectively.

The state has a legal medical marijuana program, with 25,565 people currently enrolled and a long list of qualifying conditions, from cancer to PTSD. (In February, the board of physicians denied albinism as a qualifying condition.)

There are nine dispensaries in the state, and 861 physicians registered in the program. Four producers are legally registered with the state.


Delaware
Although recreational use in Delaware is against the law, marijuana is decriminalized, so a person caught with up to one ounce gets a fine of $100 instead of jail time. Yet minors smoking weed in public or a moving vehicle can face criminal charges.

The state’s medical marijuana program is growing quickly, with a 231 percent uptick in registration cards issued in fiscal year 2017 than in 2016. Qualifying conditions include: cancer, PTSD and autism. The three most common conditions are severe pain, muscle spasms and cancer.

Delaware asks that dispensaries test their cannabis products but doesn’t explicitly deny the use of pesticides.


Florida
Marijuana is illegal in Florida, with 20 grams or less punishable with up to a year in prison.

The state’s medical marijuana program is limited, with patients suffering cancer, muscle spasms and seizures, allowed cannabis strains containing ten percent or more of CBD and no more than eight-tenths of one percent of THC. Terminally ill patients can get strains higher in THC. There are approximately 26,968 registered patients.

Critics argue that expanding Florida’s medical marijuana law would increase the state’s carbon footprint due to added energy consumption. They also fear that larger-scale cultivation will threaten the state’s 29 major water holes, particularly the Everglades.


Georgia
Marijuana remains very illegal in Georgia. However, first time offenders might be eligible for probation over incarceration (the probation might include mandatory drug treatment). Although that indicates a positive step towards decriminalization, it must be noted that in many cases the terms of probation might be even more onerous than incarceration, due to court dates, fees, and other conditions.

The state has a very limited medical marijuana program: 20 ounces of infused cannabis oils with no more than 5 percent THC. Some of the qualifying conditions are AIDS, seizures and Tourette’s syndrome. Advocates are pushing for PTSD and chronic pain to be included in the list of qualifying conditions.


Hawaii
Hawaii allows for conditional release or diversion for first time offenders. If a person finishes probation successfully, their record is purged.

The state’s medical marijuana law allows patients to possess four ounces of usable marijuana, not including seeds, stalks or the root. Patients are allowed to grow no more than seven plants. As of March 2018, there were 20,869 valid patients.

A Hawaii-based cannabis advocacy group advises people who grow weed to use lower-energy lights and no-till, organic gardening.


Idaho
The state of Idaho has some of the strictest pot laws in the country. People caught with less than 3 ounces of weed face up to a year in prison. Possession of more than 3 ounces can result in 5 years in prison. In 2016, more than 4,000 people were arrested for pot in the state.

Idaho doesn’t have a medical marijuana program, though advocates are currently pushing to legalize CBD oils.


Illinois
Illinois has started to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Ten grams or less constitutes a civil violation, carrying a fine of $200 and no jail time.

The state’s legal marijuana program allows for a wide range of qualifying conditions, including Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury and Fibromyalgia. In 2017, there were 21,800 registered patients. There are 54 state-licensed dispensaries.

Illinois requires growers to properly train their employees in the use of pesticides, as well as provide a plan for water flow and the disposal of waste materials.


Indiana
The possession of even a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable with up to 180 days in jail. The state allows people with severe epilepsy to use CBD oil.


Iowa
Even first offense possession of a small amount of pot is a misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in prison, although diversion sentencing is an option. 

Limited amounts of CBD oil are permitted for people suffering serious conditions such as intractable epilepsy, terminal illness, or untreatable pain. There are no state-licensed dispensaries currently operational, but the state has begun to consider applications.


Kansas
Possession of any amount of pot is punishable with 6 months in prison. A medical marijuana program was narrowly rejected by the Kansas House of Representatives in March 2018.


Kentucky
Less than 8 ounces of weed is a misdemeanor punishable with 45 days in jail, but diversion sentencing is possible. A second offense can result in a one- to five-year sentence. Legislators are debating instituting a medical marijuana program.


Louisiana
Pot is illegal, and first offenders caught with less than 14 grams face 15 days in prison.

In April, the Louisiana Pharmacy board began awarding permits for medical pot dispensaries. Louisiana law still forbids smokable pot. Southern University and Louisiana State University are the sole agricultural centers that can grow medicinal marijuana.


Maine
In Maine, adults over the age of 21 can possess 2.5 ounces of weed and grow up to six mature plants. The state also has a thriving medical marijuana program for a long list of ailments, including PTSD. The first retail marijuana stores are likely to pop up in the spring of 2019, although Governor Paul LePage has vowed to veto legislation paving the way for a regulated marijuana market.


Maryland
Recreational pot is illegal in Maryland, although possession of small amounts (less than 10 grams) has been decriminalized.

Four years after greenlighting a medical marijuana law, Maryland recently instituted a medical marijuana program. Currently, 34 state-approved dispensaries are open to patients suffering from a wide range of debilitating conditions, like anorexia, severe nausea and seizures.


Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, adults over 21 can legally possess an ounce or less and cultivate up to six plants (12 per household). Retail marijuana is set to open July 2018 (MPP)

The state’s medical marijuana program allows patients suffering from serious conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS and other conditions as determined by a physician. Limited amount of home cultivation are allowed, and there are 46,294 registered patients. The state has operational licensed dispensaries.

The state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has called on the Cannabis Control Commission to impose stricter environmental standards so that the burgeoning weed industry doesn’t drastically increase the state’s carbon footprint, calling for a mere 36 watts per square foot of cultivation space.


Michigan
Getting caught with any amount of pot is, at a minimum, a misdemeanor that can carry a one-year sentence, although diversion is an option.

Medical marijuana patients – suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer and PTSD – are allowed to possess two and a half ounces of usable marijuana. Home cultivation of no more than 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility, is allowed. More than 218,000 patients are registered.


Minnesota
Possession of 4.5 grams or less is a misdemeanor, but carries no jail time. Cancer, HIV and AIDS, as well as PTSD and intractable pain are some of the conditions covered by the state’s medical marijuana program. There are 8,075 estimated registered patients.


Mississippi
The possession of small amounts of pot has been decriminalized in Mississippi – 30 grams or less does not carry a criminal penalty. The state’s medical marijuana program is limited to CBD oil for intractable epilepsy.


Missouri
A first offense possession charge of 10 grams or less is a misdemeanor, which does not usually carry jail time. The state’s medical marijuana program is limited to CBD oil for intractable epilepsy.


Montana
Sixty grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in prison. The state has a medical marijuana program for conditions like cancer, chronic pain and Crohn’s disease. More than 21,000 people are registered.


Nebraska
Pot in Nebraska has been partially decriminalized: a first offense for possession of one ounce or less is an infraction which is not punishable with jail time. The state does not have a medical marijuana program. In a February poll, 77 percent of respondents said they would vote yes on a medical marijuana program.


Nevada
Marijuana has been legalized in Nevada, and adults 21 and over can have up to one ounce of weed. They can also share their pot with others, but selling more than one ounce is still a felony. Adults can also grow 6 marijuana plants if they live more than 25 miles away from a retailer. There are 62 dispensaries statewide and 205 cultivation and production facilities.

Nevada’s medical marijuana program has about 21,700 registered patients, who use the drug to treat a range of symptoms, from AIDS to PTSD. They’re permitted to cultivate 12 plants.

The city of Las Vegas favors applicants who plan to use green buildings. For years, medical marijuana facilities have had to provide the city’s environmental officer with a detailed environmental plan that includes how they’ll manage hazardous materials and wastes.


New Hampshire
Pot has been partially decriminalized in New Hampshire. Possession of three-quarters of an ounce is a civil violation that carries no criminal penalty. New Hampshire lawmakers are studying legalization, but a recent bill stalled in the state’s House.

The state’s medical marijuana program allows people suffering from serious conditions like AIDS, cancer and PTSD to access two ounces of legal pot. Home cultivation is not permitted. There are currently 3,493 registered patients in the program.


New Jersey
Although pot is still illegal in New Jersey, the state’s new governor, Phil Murphy, has signaled he wants legal marijuana. Currently, 50 grams or less carries a disorderly person charge, punishable with up to six months in jail

In addition to the usual serious conditions that qualify patients for medical pot, the state includes medical marijuana as an addiction substitute therapy for opioid reduction. The state’s 18,574 registered patients can have two ounces of pot per month.

New Jersey has outlawed the use of pesticides in marijuana cultivation.


New Mexico
Pot is against the law in New Mexico, with first offense possession of one ounce or less carrying a penalty of 15 days in jail. A second offense can result in a one-year sentence.

The state allows patients with a wide variety of conditions – from cancer to Parkinson’s to PTSD – to have access to medicinal marijuana. Patients can have eight ounces over 90 days and home cultivation is allowed, up to 16 plants. So far, 50,954 patients are enrolled. The most common qualifying condition is PTSD, followed by cancer and chronic pain.


New York
In New York state, the possession of small amounts of weed has been decriminalized. First offense for 25 grams or less carries a $100 fine, and a second offense can cost $200.

New York state’s medical marijuana law limits patients to non-smokable products. Home cultivation is not allowed. The qualifying conditions include ALS, cancer, chronic pain and PTSD.

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon has declared her support for legalization – pushing current Governor Andrew Cuomo, a longtime anti-pot pol, to conduct an official study into how legalization would affect New York. 


North Carolina
Pot in North Carolina is illegal, although possession of small amounts has been decriminalized: a half-ounce or less can result in a maximum fine of $200. The state allows CBD oil to treat intractable epilepsy. Representatives introduced a medical marijuana bill in February.


North Dakota
In North Dakota, one ounce or less of pot can get users 30 days in jail, although diversion is a possibility.

A list of ailments qualify users for medical pot, including agitation from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, ALS, cancer, chronic or debilitating disease and PTSD. Home cultivation is not allowed. Patients can smoke pot, but only by special order of their physician. However there are currently no state-licensed dispensaries operational and no patients currently registered.


Ohio
In Ohio, less than 100 grams of pot is a misdemeanor that doesn’t carry a criminal penalty, but a $150 fine.

The state’s medical marijuana program permits patients suffering from a long list of conditions, including AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury, to use marijuana medicinally. Home cultivation is not allowed and there are currently no state-licensed dispensaries operational. The first production facilities are slated to open this fall.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control program – the state agency tasked with the rollout of medical marijuana – has proposed that producers display labels such as organic on their products. They also call for the composting of marijuana waste.


Oklahoma
Oklahoma has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana in the country. Even a first-time offender caught with any amount faces a year in prison. In 2017, Governor Mary Fallin commuted the sentence of a man serving life without parole for pot trafficking to life with parole.

The state allows pediatric epilepsy to be treated CBD oils.


Oregon
Oregon has legalized pot for personal adult use. Legalization followed a long tradition of medical marijuana in the state, with a wide range of symptoms qualifying patients, including PTSD. Registered users can possess 24 ounces of usable cannabis and and grow six mature plants. There are an estimated 61,867 people participating in the program.

Like other states with large-scale legalization, critics are concerned that Oregon’s waterways might be threatened by the debris and other waste materials from large grow operations. A report presented to the Oregon legislature also warned that pot agriculture would use up far more water than, say, a wine grape.

Click here for our full user’s guide to legal marijuana in Oregon. 


Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, 30 grams or less can get you thrown in jail for 30 days. The state’s medical pot program includes a range of conditions, including opioid dependency. Home cultivation is not allowed, but there are currently state-licensed dispensaries operating.


Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, less than one ounce carries no criminal penalty, although pot is still illegal. Lawmakers might consider ending prohibition in the fall.

The state’s medical marijuana program permits two and a half ounces and the home cultivation of 12 plants stored indoors.


South Carolina
First offenders caught with one ounce or less can be sentenced to 30 days in jail, though diversion sentencing is a possibility. The state has a CBD law on the books for Dravet Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and refractory epilepsy.


South Dakota
Marijuana is illegal, and triggers harsh penalties: two ounces or less can lead to a year in prison.

A medical marijuana bill is slated to be on the ballot this fall, though the conditions it would cover are relatively severe.


Tennessee
Pot is illegal in Tennessee and can land you in jail for a year – even first time offenders.The state allows CBD oil to treat seizures.


Texas
Possession of two ounces or less can put someone in jail for 180 days. The state technically has a CBD oil law on the books, but the program is severely limited by the fact that physicians are forced to write a prescription, putting them at risk of a crackdown by federal authorities.


Utah
Pot is illegal in Utah. Less than one ounce can result in six months in jail.

A medical marijuana initiative could be put on the ballot for voters this fall, though it’s unclear if there will be the support to pass it – currently the powerful Church of Latter-Day Saints opposes the measure, which could mean its defeat.


Vermont
Vermont has legalized small amounts of pot for personal use. The state’s medical marijuana law allowed two ounces of usable marijuana for patients suffering a host of ailments, including PTSD. Up to nine marijuana plants can be grown at home.


Virginia
Weed is illegal in Virginia, though there’s momentum towards legalization. Right now, Virginia’s medical marijuana program is limited to restricted use of CBD and THC-A oils. In March, Gov. Ralph Northam expanded the criteria for qualifying condition to any diagnosed condition.


Washington
Washington has legalized small amounts of weed for personal use. The state’s medical marijuana law applies to a broad range of conditions, including PTSD. Home cultivation of medical pot is allowed if the patient enters a state database, though growing plants for recreational use is prohibited.

The state’s Department of Ecology has published guidelines on how to maintain environmentally friendly – things like to controlling odor in the air and treating any waste with a 10 percent THC content as dangerous, just like you would fluorescent bulbs or used batteries.


Washington, D.C.
In 2014, voters passed a ballot initiative that made recreational, adult-use marijuana legal in the nation’s capital. But since then, little has happened – Congress, which gets to appropriate how D.C. spends its money, decided that they couldn’t spend any of their budget implementing the new law, leaving legal pot in limbo. Residents have gotten around that problem by setting up “gifting” markets wherein trinkets are sold for about the price of weed – and the pot is added on as a bonus. While adults are allowed to possess up to two ounces or grow up to six plants, getting caught with more than that is a misdemeanor that could land you in jail for six months.

The district has a medial marijuana program, but it allows patients the same two ounces that are allowed under the recreational law. 


West Virginia
Getting caught with any amount of pot can result in 90 days to six months in prison. The state has a medical marijuana program, but there are no currently operational state-licensed dispensaries.


Wisconsin
Any amount of pot is punishable with six months in jail, including for first offenders. The state allows for the use of CBD oil.


Wyoming
In Wyoming, using marijuana or being “under the influence” is a misdemeanor, and can result in up to 6 months in jail. In fact, the legislature is considering instituting tougher penalties for pot – making possession of three grams of flower a felony. The state allows for the use of CBD oils to treat seizures, but has not facilitated accessibility for them. 

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CHEYENNE, Wy.(KGWN)- A Cheyenne woman has been connected to a four-month long investigation into the sale of methamphetamine and firearms resulted in federal indictments and seizures.

The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration-Cheyenne, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the Unites States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming, and the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office wrapped up the investigation last month that spanned from Rock Springs and Cheyenne, to Fort Collins, Loveland, and Denver, Colorado.

Kymber Tiernan of Cheyenne along with Julio Quintero (Denver), Travis Harre (Denver), Anthony Walters (Loveland), and Angela Perez (Loveland) were charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming.

Tiernan was arrested in Wyoming and booked into the Laramie County Detention Center. The others were booked into the Larimer County Jail and their booking photos are attached. They have all since posted bond.

Drugs, weapons, cash, and property were also seized During the investigation including three pounds of methamphetamine, small amounts of cocaine, prescription opioids, marijuana, marijuana concentrate, $20,000 in cash, three motor vehicles, and 21 firearms–four of which were used in other crimes.

“This investigation was successful because of the hard work and cooperation of local, state, and federal agencies all working toward the same goal–reducing the impact of illegal drugs in our communities.”–Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Captain and Northern Colorado Drug Task Force Commander, Joe Shellhammer.

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With many sporting tie-dye gear, pot-leaf garlands and wide grins, thousands of revelers began pouring into Denver’s Civic Center park on Friday for the annual 4/20 celebration in the de facto capital of cannabis.

“It’s the only holiday we like,” said Bre Grover, 21, of Nunn. “I think the hippies of the 60s would’ve been proud.”

Marijuana revelers weren’t deterred by dropping temperatures and approaching dark clouds. Lines were long at noon, but they were moving briskly and efficiently as bags were checked at the gates. Organizers expect 30,000 to 50,000 people to attend what’s officially called the Mile-High 420 Festival, complete with concerts, vendors and a giant cloud of smoke at 4:20 p.m.

Many weren’t waiting for 4:20 p.m. to partake, however. Pot smoke was on the breeze for blocks around the downtown park.

“All smoking is done behind closed doors in New Jersey,” said Kenny Dykes, 20. “Coming here makes me want to leave New Jersey.”

Denver Police Chief Robert White said the festival has gotten off to a good start.

“It’s going really well so far,” he said. “I just hope that continues on through the night.”

White said his officers have issued some citations for marijuana smoking, stunning some festival-goers who assumed you could puff in public.

One man, who gave his name only as Josh, got off with a warning after Colorado State Patrol deputies told him he had to dump out his bong.

“It kinda sucks,” he said. “C’mon. It’s 4/20!”

It was his first 4/20 in Denver.

Petra Stojanovic, 20, of Boulder, came for more than the smoke. Like many, she came for the spectacle, the cannabis camaraderie and the music.

“I’m here to see Lil Wayne,” Stojanovic said. “My friends are visiting from New Jersey so we’re celebrating and showing them around.”

Others stood in long lines for giant turkey legs and beer. A bus parked just outside one entrance to the festival offered Doritos, ice cream bars and water.

Devante Anderson, 26, of Wyoming, drove all the way to Denver to celebrate 4/20.

“There is nothing like this in Wyoming, so it’s cool that we can come here and celebrate,” he said. “Twenty years ago we would all be in jail. Today, we are here having a good time, no need to hide.”

Kendra Mayle, 27, of Denver, brought her 5-week-old baby, Ayla, to the festival.

“Technically, you’re not supposed to smoke, so we thought it would be fine to bring her,” she said. Mayle is also very excited to see Lil Wayne perform on Friday.

This year, the industry has taken control of the event for the first time, after Euflora, a growing chain of dispensaries that started on the 16th Street Mall, won the right to step in for longtime permit-holder Miguel Lopez, a sometimes-combative pro-marijuana activist. Last year, Lopez earned city officials’ public scorn — as well as a three-year permit ban — after the city woke on April 21 to a disheveled, trash-strewn mess in the park.

Among the first things Euflora did in planning was hire Team Player Productions, which puts on the People’s Fair in Civic Center each June. On tap for 4/20 are more entrances, to cut down on fence-jumping; more security screeners and equipment to quicken the flow of lines; and new offerings, including beer gardens.

The festival, running 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., even started the day with yoga on the Broadway Terrace, with a 4 p.m. slot in the same location for a meditation-focused fitness event and a parkour challenge.

This is a developing story that will be updated. Staff writers John Ingold and Jon Murray contributed to this report.

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Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C, have legalized the use of medical marijuana and on top of that, nine states have legalized recreational pot. But the question is, why was it illegal in the first place? Just the FAQs

For the second straight year, the Wyoming, Minnesota, police department is having fun with 4/20 day.

Last year, the Minneapolis suburb’s police account won Twitter on “Weed Day” by poking fun at the stoner culture. 

Friday morning, the @WyomingPD account posted two photos of officers setting up a sting operation using Cheetos and a small cage. 

Some of their other tweets from the day:

We’ll keep an eye on their Twitter account and update this article as needed.

Update: Fargo PD is getting into the act

And Rapid City

 

The tweet that started it all

 

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WYOMING, Minn. — April 20 has garnered the reputation for being a day to celebrate marijuana, because of its 4/20 date.

There are various rumors about how 4/20 became representative of smoking pot, but the one that seems to be the most likely is about a group of high schoolers in the 1970s that would use 420 as a secret code and meet up at 4:20 to smoke.

In any case, one police department in Wyoming, MN is notorious for having some fun on this day.

The department says undercover 4/20 day operations are in place with incognito traps set up throughout the city.

A trail of snacks leading to a trap under the watchful eye of an officer with binoculars is sure to catch anyone wandering around with the munchies.

This year’s stakeout is a follow-up to last year’s trap that also went viral.

The department did add on a serious note, “if you or a loved one are having issues with substance abuse please feel free to contact us so we can point you in the right direction to get some help. That does NOT mean jail time.” They also posted a list of resources. 

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A four-month law enforcement investigation of methamphetamine distribution ended in federal indictments and seizures, including the arrests of two Loveland residents.

The effort was a collaboration between the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force; the United States Drug Enforcement Administration – Cheyenne; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the Unites States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming; and the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.

Authorities were investigating the sale of methamphetamine and firearms from Rock Springs and Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Fort Collins, Loveland and Denver, Colorado. They wrapped up the investigation last month, according to a news release from the drug task force.

Police arrested 20-year-old Julio Cesar Quintero and 24-year-old Travis Malana Harre of Denver, 37-year-old Anthony Jamal Walters and 37-year-old Angela Lynn Perez of Loveland, and 33-year-old Kymber Morgan Tiernan of Cheynne Place, Wyoming, on suspicion of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Tiernan was arrested in Wyoming and booked into the Laramie County Detention Center. The others were booked into the Larimer County Jail and have all since posted bond.

Task force officials said police seized 3 pounds of methamphetamine, small amounts of cocaine, prescription opioids, marijuana, marijuana concentrate, $20,000 cash, three vehicles and 21 firearms — four of which were used in other crimes.

“This investigation was successful because of the hard work and cooperation of local, state, and federal agencies all working toward the same goal — reducing the impact of illegal drugs in our communities,” said Joe Shellhammer, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office captain and Northern Colorado Drug Task Force commander.

Loveland arrests

Arrest documents for Walters and Perez show that they were contacted by police at 9:57 p.m. on March 13 as they were driving in a gold Chevrolet Cavalier northbound on I-25 near the U.S. Highway 34 exit. The car, failed to remain in a single lane and had a cracked windshield obstructing the driver’s view.

A Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled the vehicle over, noting in his report that the suspects appeared nervous. A Loveland Police Department officer and K-9 then arrived, and a “search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine and plastic bag of suspected cocaine.” The suspected meth weighed 226.61 grams and suspected cocaine 16.6 grams, according to the arrest document.

Police also found Perez’s wallet which contained more bags known for their use in meth distribution, according to the arrest document.

The test for the suspected meth reportedly came back positive and the sheriff’s office deputy determined the other substance to be cocaine.

Police said they found $1,901 of loose bills in the front pockets of Walters’ pants. According to his arrest document, he told police he was unemployed and the money was from a tax return.

Police arrested Perez on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, felony possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor driving under restraint with a suspended license, and a traffic citation for failing to drive in a single lane.

Walters shared the same first two charges as Perez.

Northern Colorado Drug Task Force

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office took the lead on the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force late last year, transitioning the reins from Fort Collins Police Services.

The sheriff’s office was previously a part of the task force before breaking away in 2007 due to budget constraints, instead focusing on its own narcotics unit.

Now, under Shellhammer’s leadership, the sheriff’s office has five investigators assigned to the unit, along with seven from Fort Collins Police Services, five from Loveland Police Department, one from Colorado Adult Parole and a deputy district attorney from the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

In an interview in January, a few days after Shellhammer officially began heading the task force, he said the task force would be working closely with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The DEA previously had investigators assigned to Northern Colorado but withdrew them in 2000 because of budgetary restraints. The agency was looking at assigning them back to the area.

Shellhammer said the task force would work with other agencies in Larimer and Weld counties as well as Wyoming.

“Larimer County is a pretty darn good place to live. … With a little community support, we can make changes,” Shellhammer said.

Prior to his 18 years in Larimer County, Shellhammer spent seven policing in New Jersey.

Heroin was a prevalent issue on the east cost then, but meth wasn’t as big of a problem. When he moved to Northern Colorado in 2000, authorities weren’t dealing with heroin, but meth was becoming a larger problem, Shellhammer said.

“Now, meth and heroin are really racing each other, unfortunately,” he said.

In Larimer County, accidental overdoses involving meth and heroin combined as the primary drugs of abuse in 2017 — seven — increased more than 133 percent than in 2014, when there were three, according to data from the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. Heroin as the primary drug of abuse went down, but meth as the primary drug of abuse alone went up.

The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force isn’t just focusing on dealers with larger kilo-type quantities of drugs, though.

“Are we always working to find the multi-kilo guy and take him in? Of course that would be great,” Shellhammer said.

But the task force is also looking to stop drug dealers with smaller quantities who may be addicts themselves but are also “messing up a lot of people’s lives” and “creating a lot of victims,” Shellhammer said.

“We’re going to make it difficult to do business here.”

In Northern Colorado, the raids may often be for smaller quantities that are traveling across Interstate 25 or Interstate 80, getting split up in Denver before arriving in Larimer County.

Part of the focus of the drug task force, however, will also be on public education and getting addicts the help they need (even after they serve time in jail). The task force puts on presentations in schools and for community groups and it works with other agencies who can provide treatment to those who need it as well as sends a detective to participate in drug court. Part of the collaboration with the DA’s Office also helps the task force take “successful cases” to court.

According to data from the District Attorney’s Office, felony drug case filings have increased more than 260 percent in 2017 (2,110) versus 2014 (585), and they have increased each year in between.

Unlike the East Coast’s “open air markets,” drug deals in Larimer County are often spread out in different types of areas and neighborhoods.

Shellhammer urges members of the public to reach out with tips, which can come in anonymously. A person can call the tip line at 970-416-2560 or contact the task force through its website at www.nocodtf.com.

The idea may be simple, though execution more tricky: Attack the supply side, so prices go up, creating less of a demand.

“We’re going to focus on the subjects that are profiting from bringing heroin in and other poisons … and make those guys or girls a high priority,” Shellhammer said.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.

Reporter Saja Hindi covers public safety and accountability. You can follow her on Twitter @BySajaHindi or email her at [email protected]

 

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The police department is known for its sense of humor.

It’s 4/20 Day and there’s a need for weed.

But as pot smokers laud all things marijuana on the annual celebration of weed culture, police lie in wait…

There are cunning predators at Wyoming PD, who for the second year in a row have set traps to lure weed lovers with a case of the munchies.

Last year they set out Cheetos, Doritos and Xbox games while lurking nearby with a man-sized net.

Related:

– 24 hours in Chisago County, as tweeted by local cops.

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This time round, they’ve sprinkled a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of Funyun crumbs to a cage containing more Cheetos and a can of Mountain Dew.

Needless to say the tweet is another hit, getting more than 1,500 shares on the social media site on Friday morning.

Wyoming isn’t the only police department getting into the spirit, including Chisago County Sheriff’s Office – another Minnesota police department known for its irreverent humor.

It posted the following, donut-themed video, telling local residents: “Why blaze it, when you can glaze it?”

Officers in Crystal have decided on a slightly less tactful approach.

Meanwhile in Congress, Sen. Chuck Schumer has proposed a bill to decriminalize marijuana in honor of 4/20 Day, so maybe there won’t be any need for Wyoming PD to lay such traps in the future?

Who are we kidding, there’s no way that’s going to pass.

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