Legislator Says Wyoming Could Save Millions With Weed Legalization

This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A state representative from Laramie recently crunched the numbers and determined Wyoming would save millions with a recently introduced marijuana legalization bill.

Rep. Karlee Provenza, D-Laramie, asked during a presentation on House Bill 209 (which would legalize medical and recreational marijuana in the state) last week what the savings to the Wyoming Department of Corrections would be if the bill was approved.

“They reported back that approximately 335 people are incarcerated for drug offenses, 2,501 are under supervision, and the total cost is approximately $19,498,525,” Provenza tweeted.

However, DOC Director Daniel Shannon said the department was unable to identify those who were incarcerated or under supervision specifically for marijuana possession.

According to the Legislative Service Office, Wyoming would see $30.7 million in tax revenue increases every fiscal year with the legalization of marijuana.

Provenza, along with a number of other legislators (including Reps. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, and Cyrus Western, R-Big Horn, and Sens. Cale Case, R-Lander and Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie) is a co-sponsor of the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Jared Olsen, R-Cheyenne.

“Legalizing marijuana will save millions and provide millions more in tax revenues,” Provenza added on Twitter. “This is far better for Wyoming than continuing to criminalize personal choices and freedom. The cost in money and human lives is tragic and ineffective.”

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mark steingass
1 month ago

Legalization on the surface may seem like a “golden bullet” but legalization in my mind might be better described as a “slippery slope” for everyone concerned and very well may be a detriment for the better “respiratory health” of the “buying (and using) population”…with present day methods utilizing optimum growing environment (temperature controlled, nutrient controlled ect) a much higher rate of “tar and resin” is achieved in the end plant product…higher or increased rates of tars and resins inhaled into the lungs cause more respiratory damage to the lungs…in the end costs to society and the potential detriment to the mental and physical well being of the public in a more widespread use need to be carefully considered as well as profit

Joshua Murcray
1 month ago
Reply to  mark steingass

Smoking cigarettes cause far worse problems to the lungs then Marijuana!!!! The pros for marijuana legalization outweigh the cons dramatically, Alcohol is far worse on the body compared to Marijuana. Income for the state will dramatically improve schools and resources for schools, also profits from marijuana will make road and sidewalk repairs done more easily, and allows money to be used on other necessities in the state!! Also the decline in opiod addiction which is far worse then Marijuana. I could go on and on with positive points for legalization of man. It’s time to make this legalization of marijuana a reality!!

mark steingass
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua Murcray

smoking in general….nope…i kinda like the “fresh air” in Wyoming

Dave Teigland
1 month ago
Reply to  mark steingass

You don’t even live in Wyoming

mark steingass
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Teigland

oh…i’m sorry please excuse me…i thought this is a public forum…no consideration that i have lived in story for the past 50 years…lol…and just made an offer on a house not far from where you live…actually it’s just a stone’s throw away from your home…on second thought i’m not sorry at all….see ya on “the trail”…lol

Ron Jacob
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua Murcray

Couldn’t agree more, let it happen

Dean Seever
1 month ago
Reply to  mark steingass

Are you everyone’s nanny? Are you going to start directing peoples diets too? Make soda illegal? Make bacon illegal? Make sure they don’t salt their food too much? Do you really believe that Americans do not have the right of personal choice? Are you really going to defend putting American citizens in cages for exercising personal choice because their personal choices are bad for them?

Ron Jacob
1 month ago
Reply to  Dean Seever

Well said !

Ralph Blommel
1 month ago

And spend BILLIONS on the problems created!! So many states have found out the true costs, but hide most thru misdirection!

Thomas Jones
1 month ago

Lots of good paying jobs out there that require a drug test.

Just sayin!

Fred Osborn
1 month ago

Ignorance is bliss and Wyoming politics is no exception.Lots of states have legalized Mary Jane and are reaping benefits from tax revenues which help to fund schools and fix roads.Oregon is one example,but then Oregon is not run by Salt Lake City influence like Idaho,and in some cases..Wyoming.The failure of Wyoming people to diversify the state’s economy has led to superficial whining about cutting programs and raising taxes. At any rate people will get the drug of choice they love…even if they have to cross state lines to get it.For decades Sheridan has had a drug problem and it looks like y’all would get with the times on control…maybe someone is getting kickbacks?

Barbara Woodward
1 month ago

Yes, I feel this not only would be great for our state but also just because I don’t use ,I feel it is a personal choice and freedom.