A Republican state legislator from Cheyenne says he a thinks a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming could be approved in the 2017 legislative session.

Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (H.D. 43) says he thinks ''4 or 5" pot bills could come up for consideration in the upcoming session of the legislature, which gets underway on Jan.10.

He says that will probably include bills to decriminalize weed as well as one to reduce the penalties for possession. He also says lawmakers may once again wrestle with the issue of edible pot products. Zwonitzer says the decriminalization measure is unlikely to pass.

A proposal to reduce the penalties for possession of marijuana and remove the felony charges for weed possession "might enjoy stronger support." He says the bill has not yet been filed, so it isn't clear yet exactly what it might do in terms of changing penalties.

But Zwonitzer says he thinks there is a good chance a bill to legalize medical marijuana might be approved by lawmakers.

He says the proposal might either approve medical marijuana in Wyoming, or might call for a medical marijuana measure to go before state voters. He notes a recent University of Wyoming survey found 72 percent of state residents would support legalizing medical marijuana in Wyoming.

Zwonitzer says he frequently gets e-mails or phone calls from supporters of medical marijuana touting it's benefits in the treatment of various health issues.

Zwonitzer says one reason he thinks a medical marijuana bill might pass is because of growing support among legislative Republicans, who overwhelmingly control both houses of the Wyoming legislature.

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