Last Update: January 24, 2014
Effort continues to pass medical marijuana law in West Virginia continues in 2014
For the fourth year in a row, Del. Mike Manypenny (D-Taylor) has introduced effective legislation that would have legalized marijuana for medical use in West Virginia. HB 4264, which has nine cosponsors (the maximum number allowed), has been referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Resources. This sensible, compassionate reform would provide relief to patients with a variety of serious, debilitating conditions.
Del. Manypenny and his allies made great progress in 2013. A public hearing was held March 28 on one of Del. Manypenny’s two bills, and 18 supporters spoke in favor. Surprisingly, no opponents showed up to speak against the bill!
As a result of this successful hearing, legislators agreed to conduct an off-season study to learn more about the issue. The Joint Committee on Health began its study September 25 by listening to presentations from MPP legislative analyst Matt Simon and other experts on marijuana policy. This committee meeting resulted in excellent media coverage from many outlets, including but not limited to The West Virginia Gazette, The Charleston Daily Mail, and WCHS-TV (an ABC affiliate).
Unfortunately, the committee ultimately failed to take action on the proposal, but Del. Manypenny has vowed to continue his efforts by introducing a new medical marijuana bill in the 2014 session.
If you live in West Virginia, please contact your legislators and ask them to support the medical marijuana bill.
New poll shows increased support!
A new statewide poll released Monday, January 6, shows that public support for medical marijuana has 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 has increased to 56% (up from 53%), and opposition has 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@example.com 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.