Cannabis reform activists in Wyoming ran into a wall after two measures meant to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize cannabis possession failed to make it to the 2024 ballot. Wyoming NORML, one of the primary sponsors of the cannabis legalization measures, said last week that activists collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. However, the organizers did not gather enough petitions in two-thirds of Wyoming counties to meet the state’s required minimum percentage.
The activists said that despite failing to get the measures on next year’s ballot, they will continue working with lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session to bring the legislation to the floor and before voters in upcoming election cycles. Wyoming NORML executive director Bennett Sondeno noted that the road to cannabis reform in Wyoming will be difficult. He stated that although cannabis reformists in the state have plenty of backers in both the House and Senate, they have been prevented from acting with compassion and justice by “powerful string pullers and funders.”
Still, Sondeno continued, it was important for cannabis reform activists to keep the push for a ballot measure alive, stating that the campaign is hoping to work with state legislators to give Wyoming residents a chance to vote on cannabis legalization. He also said that the campaign is currently raising funds for professional petitioners to ensure that voters have the chance to decide on cannabis reform even if lawmakers remain resistant to the notion.
The campaign managed to collect 48,687 raw signatures for the medical cannabis measure and 47,426 signatures for the measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis. According to campaign organizers, these numbers were raw signature counts and had not been validated and authenticated by the state.
Even though the organizers met the state threshold of 15% of votes cast in the previous general election (41,776), they did not meet the 15% threshold from two-thirds of Wyoming’s counties in two counties. Previous efforts to get a measure onto the 2022 ballot were held back by poor weather conditions and the coronavirus pandemic that ultimately hampered signature collection efforts.
Sondeno says that the campaign is confident that future measures will qualify for the ballot, especially as the signature threshold will be lower after Wyoming’s latest midterm election cycle. He noted that the campaign will pool all of its efforts onto a measure to decriminalize possession and one to launch a medical cannabis program.
The medical marijuana measure would allow patients to purchase and possess up to 20 grams of “medical cannabis-derived products” and four ounces of cannabis flower.
On the other hand, the decriminalization measure would impose minor fines on individuals caught possessing up to four ounces of cannabis without any jail time.
For patients in Wyoming who had hoped to access medical marijuana soon, not all is lost. Many companies, such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC), are focusing on making pharmaceutical-grade medicines from different cannabinoids such as THC, and once those medicines are approved by the FDA, they will be readily available across the country by prescription.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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