What WV Lawmakers Can Learn from Virginia's New Adult Use Policy
In 2017, West Virginia lawmakers officially recognized medical marijuana as a treatment for several medical conditions. However, it took until 2021 for patient registrations to begin.
As West Virginia actively begins its medical marijuana program this year, neighboring Virginia is making waves as the first southern state to legalize recreational adult use of cannabis.
At West Virginia Marijuana Card, our team will guide you through every step of registering to receive medical marijuana. Meanwhile, we’re also a top source of cannabis news.
Read on to learn more about what West Virginia lawmakers can learn from Virginia’s new adult use policy.
Where does West Virginia stand on legalizing recreational adult cannabis use?
Earlier this year, West Virginia governor Jim Justice publicly expressed his willingness to legalize a recreational marijuana program for adult use.
Additionally, a measure to decriminalize cannabis recently failed by a narrow margin, and legislation to completely legalize adult use is pending.
Many advocates for adult cannabis use believe it has the potential to reduce opiate-related deaths.
What are the top 4 takeaways from Virginia’s adult use recreational marijuana program?
Virginia will allow sales of recreational marijuana to begin on July 1, 2021. However, there’s already plenty to learn from the way the state’s implemented the program so far.
1. Recreational marijuana is a civil rights issue.
Virginia lawmakers have cited racial justice as one of the reasons for fast tracking recreational use in the state. By legalizing possession of marijuana, fewer people will enter the criminal justice system. Since Black Americans are arrested more than three times as often as white Americans for possession of small amounts of marijuana, this change has a particularly strong impact on the Black community.
2. There’s a line between public and private use.
Some West Virginia lawmakers have opposed legalizing recreational adult cannabis for fear that it will normalize drug use and endanger children. Meanwhile, Virginia has guarded against this by taking cannabis use out of the public eye and establishing boundaries around how cannabis is labeled and stored.
3. Sharing is treated as caring.
Virginia’s recreational program allows individuals to cultivate up to four cannabis plants each, as well as to share up to an ounce of cannabis flowers. While the unlicensed sale of cannabis is still treated as a crime, Virginia has allowed space in the law for people to share cannabis without the fear that it will be viewed as distribution.
4. Good things do take time.
Even though possession will soon be legal in Virginia, the complete plan to legalize recreational dispensaries is expected to slowly take effect between now and 2024. Like medical marijuana, adult use will not happen immediately. As a result, there is time to plan for the changes.
What is the relationship between medical marijuana and adult use recreational marijuana?
Medical marijuana allows qualifying patients of all ages to purchase various forms of cannabis. Meanwhile, recreational adult cannabis use allows anyone age 21 and up to purchase and possess less than an ounce of cannabis.
Recreational cannabis programs allow everyone to benefit from cannabis’ therapeutic properties, but medical marijuana programs often offer more diverse product selections, as well as higher approved quantities of cannabis to possess.
Medical marijuana programs remain the best way to access high-quality, well-regulated cannabis.
Ready to register for your WV medical marijuana card?
From setting up your first doctor visit to processing renewals, our team at West Virginia Marijuana Card will guide you through each step of becoming a registered marijuana cardholder.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce 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!
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