West Virginia: Legislature Fast Tracks Medical Marijuana Bill
By Derrick Stanley
A bill to legalize medical marijuana in West Virginia has passed the Senate and been fast-tracked through a first reading in the House of Delegates. The measure passed the Senate on Wednesday with a vote of 28-6. Republican Del. Michael Folk motioned to skip sending the bill to House committees on Thursday, based on supporters saying that would have been a death sentence for the measure this late in the session.
Folk’s motion passed the House 54-40, allowing it to move to a second reading and making it eligible for amendments today.
Opponents of the motion said that it was reckless to move the bill forward without a committee hearing and would prevent the implementation of medical marijuana laws in a responsible manner. Delegates say they have been overrun by calls about the bill.
“Like every member of this body, I can’t count the number of emails and phone calls I received on this subject today,” Del. Mike Pushkin (D) said in the report.
The measure would allow patients with approved conditions to access medical marijuana in the state and grow up to two plants at home. The measure would also set up a Medical Marijuana Commission. The program could be rolled out as early as September 2018.