Debate over legal adult-use cannabis in West Virginia

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — Pro-legal marijuana forces in the House of Delegates are trying to pass a bill to allow recreational marijuana use by people age 21 and over, and also decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. But an effort to get the bill out of committee for a full vote on the floor has failed so far. Supporters say the state is missing out on big economic growth from marijuana.

“The cannabis industry is no longer for West Coat liberals and frozen canucks above the northern border. It has marched east, and it has marched south. Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio. It is on our doorstep,” said Del. Mick Bates, Minority Chair, (D) Raleigh – Finance Committee.

But critics don’t think the time is right and worry marijuana could be obtained by underage users, regardless of what the law specifies. They read testimonials from some who did.

“Julia, meanwhile, was involved in many school activities and was an honor roll student. She began using marijuana at age 11 and eventually used other drugs. She overdosed four times,” said Del. Daryl Cowles, Speaker Pro Tempore, (R) Morgan.

And some other delegates say West Virginia needs to get it’s long-stalled medical cannabis program up and running first before it tries to expand legal use.

“While efforts to bring an adult-use cannabis bill to the House floor are stymied, for now, don’t be surprised if the marijuana issue comes back up again. That’s because there are 44 days left in this legislative session,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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