Interestingly, during the pandemic, several states of retail and medical marijuana closed their retail stores but declared the “medical” stores indispensable stores. Guess what? Medical card applications went through the roof. Who knew that so many users needed their “medicine”. In reality, the point is to gain access to the drug, however labeled.
Wyoming citizens need to closely monitor the debate over this bill. It is a complicated and voluminous calculation that took some time to produce. However, it was submitted at the last minute. I believe this was done on purpose to reduce public awareness prior to the judicial committee hearings. The hearing combined HB209 with the postponed hearing on HB082 (a medical marijuana feasibility study).
When the hearing opened, Chairman Olsen stated that the benefits of “medicinal” marijuana were not at the heart of the comments he wanted to hear about HB209. Still, 80% of the statements allowed had to do with mostly anecdotal information about the benefits of medical marijuana rather than the retail aspect of the bill and almost nothing about HB082.
I think HB209 should have been expected to move on. After all, Chairman Olson was the sponsor of HB209 and left his chairmanship to introduce the bill. Committee members Provenza, Yin, and Zwonitzer were co-founders of this law. That’s four votes in my pocket before the hearing started.
Chairman Olsen then returned to his chairman to chair the hearing on his own account. I don’t know what the ethics are, but it seems to me that a sponsor of a bill shouldn’t be involved in moving it through a committee they chair. “Medical marijuana” may not be the only Trojan horse at work here.
Richard Jones has worked as a paramedic, law enforcement officer, government corrections trainer, and research associate and psychometrician in neuropsychology at a rehabilitation hospital. He and his wife now run a consultancy focused on drug abuse prevention management training and strategies. He lives in Cody.