A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota

Wyoming Drug Crimes

We Can Help With the Legal Consequences of Addiction

Wyoming has had a substance abuse problem for a long time. The names of the drugs change, but the impact, and the need for high-quality legal representation, stays the same.

Alcohol has always been a problem.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, methamphetamine took hold.

Today, heroin addiction has reared its ugly head.

A Decline in Alcohol Related Crimes

Since 2000, Wyoming has seen a change in its statistics for drug crimes. The number of Wyoming arrests for alcohol related crimes has decreased, while the number of drug crimes continues to rise, according to the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police. This is largely due to increased efforts to target and prosecute drunk drivers and other alcohol related offenses, which have resulted in higher arrest rates for DWUIs and other alcohol related crimes.

Wyoming’s growing population, driven by jobs related to the energy industry, is drawing new and more drugs into the Cowboy state. Arrests for drug crimes have increased by 37 percent since 2013. As Wyoming’s population increases and neighboring states legalize marijuana, Wyoming has seen an influx of drugs.

Marijuana - Not Legal in Wyoming

People are bringing marijuana into Wyoming from Colorado and Washington, where it can be grown legally, via Interstate 80 and Interstate 90.

Additionally, more marijuana is being grown in the U.S. as many states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Marijuana remains illegal in Wyoming, even for medical purposes.

In 2015, Wyoming lawmakers considered but ultimately rejected House Bill 187, which called for a study on the impact of marijuana on the criminal justice system, public health, and state revenue.

Currently, people caught with up to three ounces of marijuana face misdemeanor convictions with penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000. A third conviction is a felony that can result in a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $5,000.

Methamphetamine - Scourge of the 2000s

The early-2000s brought the advent of a methamphetamine problem in Wyoming.

Methamphetamine use in Wyoming was higher than the national average, as Wyoming ranked:

  • Number 2 in the U.S. for meth use by teens ages 12 to 17
  • Number 1 in the U.S. for meth use by young adults ages 18 to 25
  • Number 1 in the U.S. for meth use by those 12 and older

In 2007, 94% of drug related offenses were meth-related.

Like marijuana, methamphetamines are covered under Wyoming's Controlled Substances Act. Penalties for possession of a controlled substance, in the case meth up to 3 grams, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year on prison and a a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of more than 3 grams is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Heroin - Today's Highly Addictive Drug

Today, Wyoming’s is facing a problem with heroin.

Heroin addiction often begins with the use and abuse of strong prescription painkillers. Post-surgical and chronic pain patients become addicted to prescription medications like hydrocodone and Percocet. From there, they turn to illegal drugs like heroin to manage their symptoms.

One heroin user who suffered chronic pain and experienced difficulty walking, said that on his first time using heroin “the pain just went away and I could walk again.”

Most heroin addicts begin by using prescription pain medications, including Vicodin, Percocet, or Oxycodone. They quickly graduate to heroin because it’s cheaper, easier to find than prescription drugs, and provides a better high.

In fact, some law enforcement officials surmise that heroin use is on the rise because the medical community has tightened up prescribing practices when it comes to prescription pain medications.

The legal consequences of a drug addiction can be daunting. Drug addicts may face charges of drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, or theft crimes because of the need to fund the addiction.

Criminal Charges Because of Addiction? The Law Office of Christina L. Williams Is Here to Help

If you or someone you love is facing legal problems because of addiction, The Law Office of Christina L. Williams is here to help. Whether it’s alcoholism, a problem with methamphetamines, or a heroin addiction, if you or someone you love is facing drug charges in Wyoming, contact my team of criminal defense professionals today. Call us at (307) 686-6556, email office@wyocriminallaw.com, or complete our online form.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

Categories: Drug Charges

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