A January poll showed that a majority of West Virginia voters support a law allowing medical marijuana in their state, and now their representatives are listening. The WV Joint Committee on Health recently held hearings into the advantages of medical marijuana, and heard stories from patients around the state who seek its relief. In addition, Del. Mike Manypenny (D-Taylor) plans to reintroduce a bill this January that would establish a program to regulate medical marijuana. Until then, lawmakers are studying medical marijuana policies across the country to find a plan that fits for West Virginia.
Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for MPP, wrote to the Charleston Gazette:
Lawmakers in Charleston are fortunate in that they can look at 20 other states' laws and determine which features would work best for West Virginia. The fact that this process has already begun provides hope to countless seriously ill residents and their families, some of whom worry they might one day have to leave the state in order to follow their doctors' advice.
It is time for state lawmakers to take a long, hard look at the evidence surrounding this issue and build upon the knowledge that has been gained from the hearings held this year. If they do so objectively, they will surely agree that West Virginia should be the next state to enact a sensible medical marijuana law.