By Steve Elliott
Most members of the West Virginia Legislature know that marijuana has medical benefits; what they don't know is the best way for their state to legally regulate the use and sale of medicinal cannabis.
That, according to Matt Simon, legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project, is what he's gleaned from his talks with legislators on the subject, reports Dave Boucher of the Charleston Daily Mail.
"I don't have a head count," Simon said, "but that's the impression we get. Speaking with legislators, it seems a majority understands that if somebody has a severe case of cancer or multiple sclerosis, they should be able to use it without any criminal penalties."
Simon, a Parkersburg, W. Va., native with a master's degree from West Virginia University, returned home this week to present information on cannabis regulations to a legislative interim committee.
Karmen Hanson, health program manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures, on Wednesday will discuss with Simon before the Joint Committee on Health how other states have legalized medical marijuana.
"I strongly believe West Virginia should pass a law like this, and should regulate it in such a way that prevents major problems from happening, but so patients have safe, legal access," Simon said.