West Virginia medical marijuana bill passes key Senate committee; governor has pledged support for medical marijuana

 

Last update: March 24, 2017

 

The West Virginia Legislature has failed to act on medical marijuana bills in recent years, but the prospects for 2017 appear to be much more promising. The state’s new governor, Jim Justice, has clearly indicated he supports medical marijuana and suggested legalization for adult use should be considered in the future.

Del. Mike Pushkin and 11 co-sponsors have introduced House Bill 2677, a comprehensive medical marijuana bill titled the “Patient Freedom Act.” In the upper chamber, Sen. Richard Ojeda and 11 co-sponsors introduced Senate Bill 386, which would make medical marijuana legal and create a Medical Cannabis Commission to administer the program. SB 386 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in a 6-5 vote on March 24 and will next be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Unfortunately, House Speaker Tim Armstead has made it clear that he opposes medical marijuana. If you live in West Virginia, please contact your state legislators today and tell them it’s time for West Virginia to move forward with a compassionate medical marijuana program.


Think tank reports that legalization would boost West Virginia’s economy, provide safer alternative to opioids

 

In August 2016, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy published an in-depth report examining the potential economic and budgetary impacts of legalizing marijuana in the state. They concluded that West Virginia could raise approximately $45 million in taxes and save $17 million currently spent on enforcement. The report also noted that “marijuana may potentially have a positive impact on West Virginia’s opioid-based painkiller and heroin epidemic by offering another, less-addictive alternative to individuals who are suffering from debilitating medical conditions.”

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.


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