USA Today Map Blames Wyoming for Colorado Marijuana Smuggling

In recent years, we've written plenty about Wyoming's unhappiness over Colorado's marijuana laws.

Back in January 2015, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said his state wouldn't be joining a (failed) lawsuit filed against Colorado by Oklahoma and Nebraska over Amendment 64, which legalized limited recreational cannabis sales here. However, he made it clear that he dislikes Colorado's cannabis approach and left open the possibility that he would sue the federal government for allowing our state to go its own way.

And that's not to mention anecdotal claims that Wyoming pot-profiles cars with Colorado license plates or reports that weed busts are up in many Wyoming locations since Amendment 64 went into effect.

So imagine the chagrin of USA Today readers directly north of Colorado's border when they perused a new article about marijuana smuggling and eyeballed a map that made it seem as if Wyoming was the root of the problem.

A Mediaite post shares numerous tweets needling USA Today over the graphic, including this one:

Yes, USA Today quickly fixed the gaffe, but not before being subjected to social media ridicule that's still ongoing at this writing.

In regard to the story itself, which bears a May 16 date stamp, the first person quoted is Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force — an anti-pot law-enforcement group whose anti-marijuana jihad has been largely fueled by sky-is-falling reports that cannabis advocates such as the Marijuana Policy Project's Mason Tvert have branded biased and non-scientific.

But it sure makes for grabby copy — or it might have if everyone hadn't been distracted by the whole Wyoming-Colorado mix-up.

Here's a look at the corrected map.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts