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West Virginia NORML Makes Final Push For Medical Marijuana Legislation

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator April 3, 2017

    WV NORML[UPDATE: On Thursday, April 5, members of the House and Senate concurred on an amended version of SB 386, which significantly curtails patient protections included in the initial version of the bill. The amended bill now awaits action from Gov. Jim Justice, who is expected to sign it in to law.]

    Marijuana advocates in West Virginia are celebrating after the state senate voted to pass a bill that would legalize and regulate the use of medical marijuana in the Mountain State. After surviving two committee assignments, and being amended to allow home cultivation by registered patients, Senate Bill 386, sponsored by Senator Richard Ojeda, passed out of the full Senate by a considerable margin of 28-6.

    “West Virginia has a medical marijuana bill that is close to becoming law. Senate Bill 386 was introduced early in the session and surprisingly made its way through both of its assigned committees with very little opposition,” said David Dawson, Legal Counsel for West Virginia NORML. “SB 386  passed the Senate with huge support, 28-6, and is now on its second reading in the House of Delegates.”

    In the weeks leading up to the Senate vote on SB 386, Jesse Johnson, executive director of West Virginia NORML, along Rusty Williams, West Virginia NORML board member, worked diligently to build a broad coalition of volunteer advocates to lobby state lawmakers in support of the bill. From regularly calling legislative offices and writing their representatives, to meeting face to face with lawmakers, it’s safe to say SB 386 would not be where it is today if not for the efforts of West Virginia NORML.

    “These folks have worked their tails off and produced spectacular and unexpected results. The West Virginia legislature has shown what I knew it was capable of, bi-partisan compassion for our fellow West Virginians. The fight still continues as House opposition is seeking to amend the bill to death and put on expert testimony in opposition,” added Dawson.

    While there’s certainly a reason to celebrate, SB 386 still faces an uncertain future. With an uphill battle expected in the House of Delegates, members of West Virginia NORML are calling for supporters of SB 386 to join them in a final push to encourage a yes vote from members of the House.

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    TAKE ACTION: Contact West Virginia Lawmakers to Urge a YES vote on SB 386

    For future updates on marijuana law reform efforts in the Mountain State, follow West Virginia NORML by visiting their website and Facebook page!

    10 Responses to “West Virginia NORML Makes Final Push For Medical Marijuana Legislation”

    1. Jeff says:

      Medicinal Marijuana is the right thing to do.

    2. Kay says:

      I haven’t read the bill personally and probably should have but I’ve heard from others that the way the bill is written, it has a lot of unrealistic regulations. I think if we want it passed, and I definitely do, it had better be written precisely the 1st time. Otherwise it’ll be an even steeper hill to climb later.

    3. Justin Smallridge says:

      The restrictions they put on the bill are ridiculous. It won’t help people nearly enough as the real thing like smoking and edibles

    4. Adam Horton says:

      I don’t understand why West Virginia state leaders are pushing for medical marijuana legalization when nobody is going to buy any medical marijuana, especially when it is in pill form. We West Virginians want legal recreational marijuana.

    5. Julian says:

      Work on improving the bill after passing what we can. Agreed there should be provisions for whole plant marijuana, not synthetics. Meanwhile start taking close statistics of state opiate addiction and suicide rates.

    6. The one who cares says:

      Why would we put something in a pill form when. West Virginia has a opioids and pill problem humm ? Just thought I’d ask why not just let us smoke it ? Why put something in a pill form when we tried so hard to keep pills out of our state ?

    7. k .sax says:

      thanks mate

    8. Concerned for wv says:

      Make wv great again, stop pushing pills on us & let us smoke herb like u let people smoke cancer sticks. Don’t b an ass & smoke some grass!

    9. Negative Nancy says:

      Stop suggesting WV ain’t great already.
      To hell with Trump.

    10. buddykiller says:

      i’m so pissed off about this. please PLEASE do NOT support this massive flaming pile of crap! the ONLY thing this will do other than hand over a new cash cow to manchin’s daughter is set a VERY chilling precedent.

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