West Virginia: Senate Leaders Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill
Legislation would allow people with debilitating medical conditions to access and use medical marijuana without fear of arrest
West Virginia Sen. Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Ripley) on Monday introduced a bill that would allow state residents with debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to grow and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
The bill, known as SB 546, would establish a state-regulated system of medical marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to licensed patients. The legislation is cosponsored by Senate Minority Leader Jeffrey Kessler (D-Glen Dale) and Senate Majority Whip Daniel Hall (R-Oceana), has been introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources.
“Marijuana has proven effective in treating a number of serious medical conditions and is far safer than many currently prescribed medications,” said Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), who is a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University. “No one deserves to be treated like a criminal for using marijuana to treat a serious medical condition.
“West Virginians deserve the chance to use this medicine if their doctors think that it will help,” Simon said. “It's time to stop criminalizing patients for using a treatment option that can dramatically improve their quality of life.”
Twenty-three states, Guam, and the District of Columbia have adopted laws that allow people with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.