‘Smuggled’ brownies prompt Wyoming to look at marijuana laws

The AP

A legislative committee is looking at whether state law needs to be clarified on how the illegal use of edible marijuana is penalized in Wyoming.

As more people travel to Colorado and purchase legal treats such as brownies, cookies, or candy infused with marijuana, prosecutors are having a hard time classifying the offense as it travels back to pot-free territory, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

It’s challenging to isolate the cannabis and to determine the weight of the drug in the food, causing confusion on how to account for non-marijuana ingredients when determining penalties, witnesses told the Joint Judiciary Committee last week.

“It’s a hole,” Ninth District Judge Norman Young of Fremont County said. “It’s a very significant hole right now, given the way things are in Colorado.”

The committee will investigate the issue this summer and possibly draft a bill for the committee to sponsor in 2016.

Wyoming law has different penalties depending on the form of a drug because of the concentration of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, said Park County Attorney Brian Skoric, representing the Wyoming County and Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association.

In plant form, marijuana possession becomes a felony if someone has over 3 ounces. In a liquid form, it becomes a felony if someone possess more than three-tenths of a gram.

“What is the form of THC in edibles?” Skoric asked. “It goes in as an oil, but then it solidifies.”

If a police officer were to weigh a candy bar, “you can get over 3 ounces pretty quickly and you’ve got a felony,” Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, said.

Rep. Ken Esquibel, D-Cheyenne, questioned how a police officer can tell the difference between “grandma’s cookies and a cookie that may have marijuana in it?”

David Delicath, Wyoming deputy attorney general, said there would be a combination of factors that could help the officer.

“Packaging. Sometimes people simply admit what they have. And while an officer can’t tell the difference, the dog can,” Delicath said.