Sponsored by

Dynavap VGoodiez 420EDC Dispensr
  • Welcome to VaporAsylum! Please take a moment to read our RULES and introduce yourself here.
  • Need help navigating the forum? Find out how to use our features here.
  • Did you know we have lots of smilies for you to use?

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Wyoming Judge Dismisses Marijuana Charges Against Hemp Farmers

CHEYENNE—A Laramie County judge threw out drug trafficking charges against hemp advocates and farmers Debra Palm-Egle and Joshua Egle Thursday, finding prosecutors lacked probable cause that the mother-and-son duo intended to grow and distribute marijuana.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Laramie County Circuit Court Judge Antoinette Williams also dismissed charges against a contractor and his wife, Brock and Shannon Dyke, who worked for the farmers and were on the property when the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation raided it in November 2019.

Prosecutors sought to charge all four with conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess marijuana; possession with intent to deliver marijuana; possession of marijuana and planting or cultivating marijuana. All but the last are felonies. The judge dismissed all charges, including a misdemeanor marijuana charge, a court clerk said Friday.

Lawyers for the defendant argued, and the judge ultimately ruled, that the farmers had intended to produce hemp, not marijuana. The day of the raid, Brock Dykes showed DCI agents the results of tests conducted on the crop that indicated it contained less than 0.3% THC.

Under Wyoming’s hemp statutes, the crop has to have a THC-concentration limit below 0.3%. Marijuana and hemp are derived from the same plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical in marijuana that gets users high. Its low presence in hemp keeps the crop from being categorized a drug.

Acting on a tip, DCI ultimately seized 700 pounds of hemp from the Egles’ farm. When agents ran it through a series of their own tests, most test results came back with THC concentrations higher than 0.3%. The highest result was 0.6%.

Laramie County Assistant District Attorney David Singleton, who prosecuted the case, argued that any plant testing over 0.3% is marijuana, not hemp. The judge, however, said it was clear the farmers intended to grow hemp, citing as evidence Dyke’s presentation of earlier test results to DCI and the Egles’ long history as hemp farmers.

Reached by phone Friday, Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove declined to comment on the case.

The dismissal of the case at such an early stage in criminal procedures — during a preliminary hearing — is unusual. Tom Jubin, a lawyer for the Egles, said that during his decades-long career this was only the third of his cases to end at that early stage.

“It’s pretty rare but it’s also pretty rare that a prosecutor would take a case like this and push it,” Jubin told WyoFile after the judge’s verdict.

“Please, have the courage to get these people home,” Jubin asked the judge during his closing remarks. In June, a different judge restricted Deborah Palm-Egle to Laramie County, though her home is in Colorado, her son told WyoFile.

Judge Williams’ own comments before her verdict were brief.

She understood why prosecutors had chosen to bring the case, she said, but did not believe they had probable cause. She also reprimanded the Egles, who had begun growing their hemp crop without a license while state and federal authorities were still developing rules for the newly legalized crop.

The Egles were prominent activists in front of the Legislature who helped push Wyoming’s hemp bill through. House Majority Floor Leader Eric Barlow (R-Gillette), who took the witness stand Thursday, testified that he knew the Egles and understood them to be hemp farmers with no intention of growing marijuana. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Dan Kirkbride (R-Chugwater) and Wyoming State Treasurer Curt Meier submitted statements with similar testimony in support of the Egles.

As such, the Egles “knew the law as well as anyone,” Williams said, and should have been licensed.

Under Wyoming statute, the Egles could face a $750 fine for growing hemp without a license. Such a penalty is a far cry from the decades of prison time they could have gotten if convicted on prosecutors’ charges.

After the judge’s ruling, Shannon Dykes rushed to tearfully embrace Palm-Egle, who is in a wheelchair. “Thank God it’s over,” Palm-Egle said.

Joshua Egle began growing what he described as a test crop of hemp for research purposes before he got his license, he told WyoFile after the hearing. Working in unfamiliar soil, it would take time for farmers to understand how to harvest the plants at the right time to keep THC concentrations legal, he said.

At the time, he was betting officials would soon work out the new industry regulation kinks and allow him to license the crop, he said. In the meantime, “we had to get going,” he said.

The Egles, and other hemp proponents, have pitched the crop as a new outlet for Wyoming’s farmers, and a viable path for economic diversification for a state struggling with its dependence on the energy industry. Egle will continue to pursue hemp farming in Wyoming, he said.

The raid
On Nov. 4, the Dykes were at the Egles’ property in Albin, a farming village in eastern Laramie County near the Nebraska line. The Egles, who live principally in Colorado, were not home. Brock Dykes was taking advantage of fresh snow to burn some waste wood, he told WyoFile in an interview after the judge’s verdict Thursday.

Dykes and his wife were standing outside and saw a line of unmarked cars, and one Wyoming Highway Patrol car, coming toward the property, he said. Their first thought was someone had called in concern about the smoke, he said. His two sons, then 11 and 12 years old, were inside the farmhouse.

Law enforcement officers, who ultimately turned out to be DCI agents, came out of the cars in tactical gear and with rifles pointed at the couple, the Dykes said, yelling at them to “put their fucking hands up.” Brock Dykes saw “five or six officers with a battering ram” approaching the door of the house where his sons were, he said. He yelled that it was unlocked and they didn’t use the ram.

Officers trained guns on the two boys as well, the Dykes said. It was 45 minutes to an hour before Shannon Dykes was able to see her sons, she said.

The investigation had begun when a “reliable source of information” called DCI concerned that the Egles were growing marijuana, according to the charging documents. DCI agents visited the farm several times and spotted what they believed to be marijuana plants drying in an open barn.

DCI agents never contacted the Egles, either before the raid or during the five months between the raid and pressing felony charges, according to the DCI investigator’s testimony during the trial.

“You sought charges against these farmers for crimes that carry decades of prison time without ever talking to them?” Jubin asked DCI Special Agent John Briggs, who led the investigation, during the hearings.

“I did not interview them, no sir,” the investigator answered.

The Dykes were never handcuffed during the raid, they said. Testimony during the preliminary hearing, which took place over two afternoons in July and August, established that Brock Dykes tried to explain the Egles were growing hemp. He showed officers the THC testing results Joshua Egle had sent him, which were on his cellphone.

Briggs was not interested in those results at the time of the raid, Dykes told WyoFile. Briggs told Dykes “I’m not going to argue with you about the technical difference between hemp and marijuana,” Dykes said.

The Dykes’ attorney, Michael Bennett, asked the judge to consider what kind of criminal would “show [testing] proof to agents, as if it were some elaborate ruse to grow the worst marijuana in the entire universe.”

DCI agents confiscated 722 pounds of plants, according to the affidavit. During the court hearings, Briggs testified that then-agency director Steve Woodson, and then assistant-director Forrest Williams drove a vehicle to the farm to collect the crop. Woodson retired in early 2020, and Williams is today the agency’s interim director.

Though relieved at the judge’s action Thursday, the Dykes remain angry at the DCI agents and prosecutors who brought such heavy charges against them. The young couple and small business owners have had to pay for weekly drug tests since early June, and spent considerable money on a lawyer, they said.

“This is all very, very surreal,” Dykes said.

The hemp industry has now progressed in Wyoming, and a number of people around him are growing the crop, he said. “How many more people are growing right now whose neighbor is going to call the police?” he said.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Wyoming Introduces Legislation to Regulate Cannabis

Does House Bill 0209 have a fighting chance in Wyoming’s state Congress?

Wyoming just introduced legislation that could bring a legal cannabis industry to the predominantly conservative state.

The bill, known as House Bill 0209, was introduced by Representative Mike Yin and also backed by 13 other state lawmakers. The bill was assigned to the state House just this week. If the bill becomes a law, then the sale, purchase, possession, and cultivation of cannabis will become regulated and legal. Those over the age of 21 can have up to three ounces of flower, 16 ounces of cannabis product, 72 ounces of liquid product, and up to 30 grams of concentrate.

Those who prefer home grows to shopping would also have the legal option to cultivate up to 12 flowering, female plants at home, which could yield them up to 16 ounces of cannabis, “provided that any amount more than two and one half (2 1/2) ounces shall be stored in a container or area with locks or other security devices that restrict access to the container or area”

HB0209 will also lay out how cannabis should be tested and taxed, as well as the licenses for the state. It will also outline what the penalties will be for those using or possessing cannabis outside of the law. Existing laws will need to be revised so that they are no longer punishing cannabis users.

“To ensure that no retail marijuana grown or processed by a marijuana establishment is sold or otherwise transferred except by a retail marijuana store or as otherwise authorized by law, the board shall develop and maintain a seed-to-sale tracking system that tracks retail marijuana from either the seed or immature plant stage until the retail marijuana or retail marijuana product is sold to a customer at a retail marijuana store,” the bill explains.

The Potential of HB0209

This could be very exciting for the state of Wyoming, as it could bring in as much as $30.7 million per year to a fund for schools, $15.35 million to a local fund, and $3.1 million for licenses. This money would be very welcome during a time when everyone is hurting thanks to COVID shutdowns. The bill projects that licensing fees will fall after the first year, but the revenue will keep coming in. They are basing these projections on their nearby, and very cannabis-friendly, neighbors in Colorado.

Additionally, the state will be able to bank on around $49.5 million in retail cannabis revenue for just the first year if cannabis becomes legal in 2022. This would be a major win for the local economy.

“A well-funded educational system is a source of pride and economic opportunity for our state. It is essential for our families and our children just as low taxes are,” Governor Gordon stated regarding the budget crisis and what needs to be done in Wyoming. “Our circumstances require that we evaluate all school spending and consider its importance to our state’s future. These are dollars that go into local economies too. I appreciate the Legislature’s Recalibration Committee’s hard work on this topic and look forward to their proposals.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Wyoming Marijuana Legalization Bill Sponsored By Top Republicans Expected To Get Hearing This Week


The cannabis legalization measure is sponsored by the House speaker, Judiciary Committee chairman and other GOP lawmakers.

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr., WyoFile.com

Supporters of a sweeping bill to legalize and regulate marijuana anticipate a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, where they hope to dispel myths and stereotypes held by resistant lawmakers.

Twelve representatives and two senators co-sponsored House Bill 209—Regulation of marijuana, which would license the cultivation and sale of marijuana and tax cannabis products, including edibles and infused drinks. Chief sponsor Rep. Jared Olsen (R-Cheyenne), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, brought the bill only months after a majority of state residents said they support allowing adults to use marijuana without penalty.

The bill would impose a 30 percent levy on marijuana sales and generate about $47 million a year in taxes, a state analysis of the measure says. Two thirds of the tax revenue generated annually—$30.7 million—would go to the school foundation fund. The other third—$15.35 million a year—would go to the local government of the jurisdiction in which the sales took place.

The bill would license marijuana establishments that grow, test, manufacture, transport or sell marijuana. A microbusiness license would allow its holder to both grow and sell marijuana but have no more than 150 pot plants.

Wyoming lawmakers have long resisted legalization of marijuana, but the people they represent last year showed a change of heart. Since 2014, when only 37 percent of residents supported allowing adults to possess marijuana for personal use, attitudes have shifted. By December last year more than half the state—54 percent—were behind legal adult use.

“It’s time,” Sen. Cale Case (R-Lander) said.

“I’m pretty conservative, but also a strong libertarian,” Case said. “I’ve decided Rep. Olsen has really done his homework and I’m going to support him. I want it to get serious attention.”

Revenue for schools​

Tax and fee revenue projections are based on Department of Agriculture estimates of 100 cultivation facilities, 50 for manufacturing, 25 for transport, five for testing plus 200 retail stores and 50 microbusinesses.

The bill would allow any adult resident to grow limited amounts of pot and consume it, but not in public.

The Department of Agriculture would oversee much of marijuana administration, according to the proposed legislation. It would adopt rules for licenses allowing use of retail marijuana at special events “in limited areas for a limited time.”

Cities, towns and counties could issue licenses for establishments and limit their number. Local governments also could prohibit marijuana establishments if 10 percent of registered voters petition for a ban.

Towns and counties could not prohibit the transport of marijuana through their jurisdictions. Numerous other provisions would prohibit establishments near schools and such.

Sponsors hope the hearing will set parameters for debate, amendments and adoption.

“I’m not under a lot of illusions it’s going to pass,” Case said of the “pretty comprehensive regulatory package.” Olsen’s bill, however, “may be the most serious framework anybody has done” in Wyoming regarding marijuana legalization and regulation.

Rep. Landon Brown (R-Cheyenne), another co-sponsor, was similarly tempered in his expectations. “Unfortunately, I have no higher belief that this bill will become law than [in] any other year,” he said.

“We have far too many in our Legislature that choose to continue to do business the old-fashioned way,” he said. “Our body refuses to acknowledge the changing world and admit that change is coming whether we like it or not.”

The hearing could open the door for deep consideration of the measure, education and advocacy, plus the dismissal of stereotypes and long-held misinformation, supporters said.

“The bill has no chance of getting through the entire process in the next four weeks,” Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (R-Cheyenne) wrote in an email. “I believe it will be used as a starting place for a year-long conversation on understanding the issue, the funding structures, and how Wyoming could regulate [marijuana] within our borders.”

Rep. Mark Baker (R-Green River), another co-sponsor, is not willing to count the legislation out this year. After a fair hearing in Olsen’s committee, “we’ll have to see what happens after that,” he said.

How much would it generate?​

The Legislative Service Office based its revenue estimates on the FY 2020 marijuana sales in Colorado, adjusted for the population of Wyoming. Rep. Landon Brown (R-Cheyenne) thinks they’re overblown.

“It is a concern to me that the development and growth of government needed to implement this law would likely barely break even in my books,” he wrote. “The increase in local permitting and oversight of a substance similar to alcohol and tobacco is new and foreign to us as a state.

ut I also believe the people of Wyoming have spoken for long enough about this issue and I believe it’s time to hear them and act.”

People shouldn’t solely focus on the revenue side of the legislation, co-sponsor Baker said. “The taxes are just a small portion of it,” he said.

Not criminalizing citizens, saving court expenses, allowing residents local access to something they’re going to get anyway “would be very attractive—above and beyond any revenue,” he said. “We need to take [marijuana] out of the unregulated market and into the regulated market.

“There has been a stigma associated with the cannabis conversation—people are apprehensive about contacting their legislator,” Baker said. “It’s important to let their legislators’ know they’re not Cheech and Chong.

Baker has personal testimony. He suffered digestive disorders that required three surgeries and nine transfusions, but found a way to endure in medical marijuana. “My life is much more comfortable with cannabis than without it,” he said.

In addition to Brown, Baker, Olsen, Zwonitzer and Case, co-sponsors are Speaker of the House Eric Barlow (R-Gillette), Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D-Laramie) and Reps. Michael Yin, (D-Jackson), Cyrus Western (R-Big Horn), Pat Sweeney (R-Casper), John Romero-Martinez (R-Cheyenne), Karlee Provenza (D-Laramie), Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie) and Marshall Burt (L-Green River).

Pro-legalization lobbyist Christine Stenquist acknowledges that Olsen’s measure takes a stride beyond the usual decriminalization approach, which is to start with a baby-step of medical authorization.

“It definitely has an adult-use feel,” she said of the measure. “It’s a retail bill.

“Conservative types are upset, to say the least,” she said. “They don’t want Colorado,” she said, referring to legalization and its impacts there. Criticism will envision all sorts of woes, including invasion of the Equality State by homeless potheads and other undesirables, she predicted.

“I understand their fears,” she said of lawmakers. “I’m hoping to address those in committee.”

WyoFile is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on Wyoming people, places and policy.
 

arb

Semi shaved ape
30% levy............lolz.
Wanna get something passed tell a politician there's money in it.
The same Republican party will refuse to enact the will of the voters like they did here in Montana.
Sure recreational passed but they refused to fund the infrastructure and won't even discuss funding until 2023.
So again it is left cheek,right cheek same old hole.
The longer I live the more apparent it is there is no actual difference.
Fuck me.............some more please.
:puke:
 

Sponsored by

Dynavap VGoodiez 420EDC Dispensr
Top