West Virginia Senate leaders introduce medical marijuana bill
Last update: April 25, 2016
The West Virginia Legislature has failed to act on medical marijuana bills in recent years, but the obstructions clearly aren’t coming from leaders of the state Senate. In February 2016, an effective medical marijuana bill, SB 640, was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall), with Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) and three other senators as co-sponsors.
This sensible, compassionate bill would have provided relief to patients with a variety of serious, debilitating conditions, but the legislature adjourned in March without taking action on the proposal. Let your legislators know you want them to take up this important issue when they return next session.
Kessler is one of three candidates who are seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2016. The other announced candidates, Democrats Booth Goodwin and Jim Justice and Republican Bill Cole, have not taken positions in support of medical marijuana. The state primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10.
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.