Legalized Marijuana in the State of West Virginia:
President Obama visited West Virginia Wednesday and one top priority for him was to discuss the state’s drug problems. Just days prior to his visit, Cheryl Shuman, a leading advocate for the legalization of cannabis, attended a screening of a pro-marijuana documentary in South Charleston to support and discuss cannabis reform in the state. Their agendas seem to conflict. Shuman relayed that she knows first hand that the cannabis plant can be used to heal a variety of ailments and that she benefits from the medicinal qualities of the plant. She has smoked marijuana to help relieve PTSD symptoms and pain from cancer. She shared that using marijuana helped to heal her mind and body and she believes it can be used to heal a broken economy as well. As most states, West Virginia could raise significant tax revenues from business associated with the legalized cannabis industry. The industry has proven to be a billion dollar industry across the United States already. States that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana are gaining noteworthy and record-breaking dollar amounts that can be used to build state infrastructure, strengthen or develop state programs, support education, or support a host of other state programs and initiatives. Fortunately for Shuman, and other marijuana enthusiasts, President Obama’s visit will focus on prescription drug abuse and the heroin epidemic. It should be noted that a recent report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Ford Foundation notes that West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the U.S. This pertains to heroin and prescription drugs.
Will Marijuana be Legalized in the State of West Virginia Soon?
At this time, medical and recreational marijuana are still outlawed in the state of West Virginia. Although bills that would legalize medical marijuana have been introduced in the West Virginia House in the last several years, they did not find enough support to advance through the legislators. Now, any chance of having a medical marijuana bill approved will have to wait until 2016 despite a growing trend of support.
According to a recent poll conducted by public policy polling reveals that support for medical marijuana in the state increased to 56 percent which is up from the 53 percent as of the last poll. Opposition to medical marijuana dropped to 34 percent. Since the tide is turning regarding public opinion, more politicians may soon decide that it is an issue worth supporting.