Wyoming Marijuana Possession Charges: 5 Things You Need to Know

We are living during a marijuana renaissance. Across the country, 25 states have legalized some form of marijuana use. Most of the states that have legalized marijuana allow it only for medical purposes, and have placed limitations on how to and who can legally obtain medical marijuana.

Two states, however, have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Oregon, and Wyoming's close neighbor, Colorado. How does this impact people in Wyoming? First, people who live in Wyoming may travel to Colorado to "legally" purchase pot. Second, people coming into Wyoming find themselves subject to Wyoming's marijuana laws, which are considerably more strict than those of Colorado.

If you don't live in Wyoming and were arrested for possession of marijuana, you may be tempted to just leave the state and never come back. While this might seem like a temporary solution, it's a very bad idea. If you don't show up for your scheduled court appearance, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. If you get stopped for anything, anywhere, the police will see that you have an outstanding warrant and will arrest you on the spot. While difficult, it's better to face the charges now, rather than wait until it becomes an even bigger problem later.

Whether you live in Wyoming and traveled to Colorado to bring home some weed, or were driving through Wyoming and didn't know that possession of pot in Wyoming was illegal, if you're facing charges of marijuana possession you need an experienced Wyoming criminal defense lawyer on your side. Wyoming's penalties for the possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia are some of the strictest in the country, and you don't want to leave anything to chance.

1. Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Wyoming

If you were arrested for possession of marijuana, you were probably charged with "Possession of a Controlled Substance." Because Wyoming lists marijuana as a controlled substance the citation may not specify that the controlled substance in question was weed.

There are four types of marijuana possession crimes in Wyoming:

  1. Under the Influence. If you are under the influence of marijuana (not limited to while you are driving), you face misdemeanor charges with a punishment of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
  2. Possession - Less than 3 oz. Possession of less than 3 oz. of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  3. Possession - More than 3 oz. A conviction for possession of 3 oz. or more of marijuana is a felony that may result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  4. Possession within 500 feet of a School. If you are caught in possession of marijuana within 500 feet of a school, add an additional $500 to the fines above.

If you were in possession of drug paraphernalia, like a pipe with marijuana residue, you face misdemeanor charges including up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750. Possession of paraphernalia is often a separate charge that may result in additional penalties if you're convicted.

First time offenders may be eligible for a conditional release or diversion program that will allow you to receive probation instead of going to trial. If you successfully complete probation the charge will not appear on your record.

Medical Marijuana 2. No Exception for Medical Marijuana in Wyoming

Unlike the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, Wyoming does not have an exception for the possession of marijuana with a doctor's prescription or recommendation. Even with a valid physician recommendation, if you are found in possession of marijuana in Wyoming, you face the same penalties as someone who has pot for recreational purposes.

Cannabis marijuana brownie 3. Brownies or Other "Edibles" Could Make Penalties More Severe

In addition to smoking marijuana, some users make "pot brownies" or other "edibles." If you are caught in possession of marijuana mixed with other ingredients, the prosecution may include “the weight of the controlled substance and the weight of any carrier element, cutting agent, diluting agent or any other substance excluding packaging material.” Possession of a pound of brownies that includes less than a half-an-ounce of pot could be classified as a felony because the flour, chocolate, and sugar could all be classified as a "carrier element, cutting agent, diluting agent or any other substance….”

Wyoming Marijuana Possession Charges and DUI 4. Driving While Stoned Carries the Same Penalties as Driving While Drunk

While supporters of marijuana legalization may argue that driving while stoned is safer than driving drunk, driving under the influence of a controlled substance is still dangerous, and illegal. In fact, the presence of any marijuana in your blood may be enough to charge you with a DUI/DWUI. And, because THC, the active chemical in marijuana, stays in your blood for days or even weeks after you last used it, you could be charged with DUI/DWUI even if you weren't high at the time.

If you're convicted, the penalties for driving while under the influence of marijuana are the same as the penalties for drunk driving.

Rejected Stamp 5. Marijuana Charges Can Disqualify You from Some Jobs and Student Loans

A conviction for possession of marijuana has severe and far-reaching consequences. In addition to fines and potential jail time, you may become ineligible for many student loans, barred from many federal or state jobs, and will need to include your conviction for marijuana possession on any job application that asks if you've ever been convicted of a crime.

Why You Need Our Team of Experienced Drug Crime Defense Professionals

With the stakes of a marijuana conviction so high, you need an experienced Wyoming drug crimes attorney on your side. When you hire Just Criminal Law, I put my team of experienced drug crime defense professionals to work for you. We will aggressively defend your rights, doing everything we can to reduce the charges, minimize the penalties, or even have your case thrown out.

During your free initial consultation, our dedicated client care specialist will learn about your background, and go over your case and the circumstances surrounding your arrest. We'll answer your questions and help you understand the criminal defense process. Then, we'll get to work defending your rights.

If you're facing marijuana charges in Wyoming, don't hesitate. Contact Just Criminal Law today. Call 307-686-6560, email office@justcriminallaw.com, or complete our online form.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

Categories: Drug Charges