Wyoming Has a Message for Solar Eclipsers: Leave Your Pot at Home

The eclipse is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to Wyoming.
The eclipse is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to Wyoming. kdshutterman/

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The eclipse is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to Wyoming.
Astrological vibes will take hold of America on August 21, when a solar eclipse will stretch across the United States. It will be close to complete in Colorado, and the path of totality is just a few hours away, in Wyoming.

In fact, Wyoming is considered one of the best places in the West to view the eclipse, with between 250,000 and 500,000 people expected to head into the state, taking advantage of its clear skies and place in the eclipse's direct line. Towns from Jackson to Torrington are on the path, and Casper, four hours up I-25, is even holding a five-day festival leading up to the eclipse;  the Astronomical League is holding its annual convention there just before the eclipse.

But the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police has a warning for travelers coming from Colorado: Don't bring your weed.

On August 11, WASCOP issued a statement warning eclipse tourists that the state's marijuana laws will be strictly enforced. Other than hemp-derived CBD for epilepsy patients who do not respond to other treatment options, marijuana in all forms is banned in Wyoming, with anything up to three ounces of flower or 0.3 grams of concentrates carrying a jail sentence of up to one year.

"Traffic laws will be strictly enforced, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be tolerated on Wyoming's roadways," WASCOP executive director Byron Oedekoven said. "Medical marijuana is not legal in Wyoming, and even if you have a card from another state, it is still illegal to possess marijuana in Wyoming. If you are caught with any controlled substance, you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug offense depending upon how much of that substance you have in your possession."

Why the stern warning? WASCOP isn't shy about its disdain for marijuana, having established an anti-pot campaign named "There Is No Debate," which includes topic headlines such as "You Don't Smoke Medicine" and talks about the marijuana industry's secret plans to market toward children.

Colorado license plates have reportedly been targeted by neighboring states. It became such an issue that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals had to step in and tell Kansas state troopers that Colorado license plates weren't enough to cause a traffic stop. The path of totality will not pass through Kansas, but it will travel over Nebraska, where drivers have reported being stopped simply for having Colorado plates.

Want to enjoy marijuana along with the eclipse? Oregon, where medical and recreational marijuana are both legal, is on the path of totality. Just don't drive through Wyoming to get there.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell

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