West Virginia legislators fail to act in 2015
Last update: July 22, 2015
In each of the last four years, bills have been introduced in the West Virginia House that would have legalized marijuana for medical use in West Virginia. In 2015, the conversation moved to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson), Senate Majority Whip Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming), and Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) showed strong leadership by sponsoring a medical marijuana bill, SB 546. An identical bill, HB 2909, was introduced in the House by Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson) and a bipartisan group of 10 co-sponsors.
These sensible, compassionate bills would have provided relief to patients with a variety of serious, debilitating conditions, but, unfortunately, legislative committees failed to take action and the bills did not advance. Patients and advocates will have to wait until 2016 before they can try again.
2014 poll shows increased support
A poll released in January 2014 shows that statewide public support for medical marijuana increased since a similar poll was conducted last winter. The new poll — which was commissioned by MPP and conducted by Public Policy Polling — found that support for medical marijuana increased to 56% (up from 53%), and opposition dropped to 34% (down from 40%). As public opinion continues to evolve, we need to help legislators understand that supporting medical marijuana will help them rather than hurt them in their re-election efforts.
If you are supportive and are a medical professional, a seriously ill patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, a law enforcement official, a clergy member, or a member of the legal community, or you know someone else that is, please email [email protected] to see how you can be of special help. Please be sure to include your address or nine-digit ZIP code so we can help you identify your elected officials.
To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in West Virginia, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.