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  • Hammond Lewis

“West Virginia Can’t Wait” for Recreational Cannabis

The West Virginia medical marijuana program offers access to cannabis as an alternative medicine for patients diagnosed with any qualifying condition set by the State.

With medical marijuana available in West Virginia, residents of the Mountain State have been registering for medical marijuana certifications in record-breaking numbers, though for some, a medical marijuana program simply isn’t enough for citizens.

West Virginia Can’t Wait has launched local campaigns to get marijuana decriminalization initiatives on the November ballot in Fairmont and Charleston, hoping to reduce the penalties and fines associated with cannabis charges.

Decriminalize & Defend Cannabis At the Local Level

West Virginia Can’t Wait Launches Cannabis Decrim Campaign

The normal route to getting decriminalization or recreational cannabis on the November ballot is to gather signatures and submit your proposal to the State, or bills can be introduced by lawmakers from inside the government.

West Virginia Can’t Wait is taking a different approach this year, by looking to local communities to pass ordinances that would effectively make a cannabis conviction for small possession carry no fines, fees, or jail time.

As opposed to getting an initiative on the November ballot through the traditional route, West Virginia Can’t Wait is working to gather signatures from the cities of Fairmont and Charleston to pass the city ordinances, which would bring decriminalization to both cities.

City Ordinance vs State Law

While a city ordinance doesn’t have the same weight as a state law or bill, bringing decriminalization into West Virginia from the ground up is a fantastic idea.

Though a cannabis conviction for small possession would still be a misdemeanor under West Virginia Can’t Wait’s proposed ordinance, there wouldn’t be any associated punishments alongside the charge.

No fines, fees, or jail time, just the charge.

This could help expedite the legal sludge that piles up concerning cannabis convictions involving small possession and expedite law enforcement’s attention towards crimes that cause genuine harm.

The change in city policy makes a lot of sense from the perspective of citizens, too, who are reportedly in favor of passing the new ordinance.

In 2022 most people realize that the severity of fines, fees, legal troubles, and jail time associated with carrying a natural plant are absurdly out of order, and West Virginia Can’t Wait’s proposal aims to reverse that at the community level.

Decriminalize First, Legalize Second

Decriminalization vs Legalization

Cannabis decriminalization can work as a great springboard to recreational legalization, which are differentiated by what’s legal, and what’s not legal but doesn’t carry heavy penalties.

Decriminalization effectively makes the punishments for cannabis possession nonexistent, though in many cases it’s still an infraction or even misdemeanor to possess cannabis under decriminalization.

Legalization is the ticket for legal cannabis, and unlike decriminalization, there aren’t any fines for possessing cannabis because possession of cannabis is legal, rather than illegal without punishment.

Cannabis decriminalization is a way to keep people from being bogged down by the legal system, and legalization is designed to create a fair and legal market for cannabis.

Legalizing cannabis is a complex and burdensome process for state’s, who would otherwise prefer not to be involved with the heavy lifting, as it would seem.

Legalization requires intense regulatory oversight, new committees, testing and analysis, security measures, permits, and a mountain of paperwork. Decriminalization is a small step that requires no infrastructure, and merely amends the law or introduces new policies that soften cannabis related punishment.

Strategies for Legalizing Cannabis in West Virginia

State’s take on incredible administrative and logistical burdens when implementing a medical marijuana program, and the infrastructure that’s required to operate a program smoothly is often understated as lawmakers introduce the new legislation.

Once a program is up and running, there’s almost always a slew of unique problems and challenges for legislators to assess, and trying to pile on new laws and policies while this is happening isn’t on most Delegates’ desks.

Local governments, though, such as cities and counties, are much less burdened by the weight of medical marijuana logistics, and as a result are often much more willing to work towards a more equitable future with cannabis policies.

To get recreational cannabis legalized in West Virginia, you need more than the sentiment of voters, who are overwhelmingly in favor of recreational legalization. Unfortunately, the will of the people isn’t strong enough to write a bill, and legislators don’t commonly offer up the opportunity unless re-election is up.

Many states are waiting on the feds, too, who are expected to introduce their own recreational legalization to the Country, and that adds to the pressure for legislators to wait it out, whether voters can’t wait for recreational cannabis in West Virginia or not.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in

West Virginia

West Virginia’s medical marijuana program allows patients with qualifying conditions to apply for a medical marijuana certification and use cannabis as an alternative medicine. You can become a medical marijuana patient today by consulting with one of our qualified physicians who will walk you through the process of getting your medical marijuana card today!

You can even get your medical marijuana card online from the comfort of your own home with West Virginia Marijuana Card!

To get your medical marijuana card online in West Virginia, simply schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!

Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve

wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.

Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for

our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out West Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in West Virginia.


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