By Derrick Stanley
West Virginia Del. Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha) is introducing a bill to legalize marijuana at a special budget session at the State Capitol.
The bill would decriminalize and permit personal use of marijuana by persons over the age of 21.
“I’m not under the impression that (House) Speaker (Tim) Armstead is going to run this bill,” Pushkin said on “580 Live” with Charleston Mayor Danny Jones Wednesday. “I just thought it was a good time to at least start talking about it, because we are in a financial crisis in this state."
Dels. Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio), Bill Flanigan (R-Monongalia), Mike Folk (R-Berkeley) and Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock) all signed the bill.
“I don’t think it’s really that unrealistic considering other states have done it,” Pushkin said. “Pennsylvania I believe signed medical marijuana the other day, and Ohio is well on their way to doing the same thing.”
Pushkin said that although the bill has a lot of support on social media he didn’t have expectations that it would be discussed during the special session, which enters its ninth day on Thursday.
Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Washington, D.C. have recently legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Twelve states have both medical marijuana and decriminalization laws. Ten states, Guam, and Puerto Rico have only legalized medical marijuana.