WV Amendment to Decriminalize Marijuana Fails by a Narrow Margin
West Virginia lawmakers have approved a comprehensive medical marijuana program for qualifying patients, and many residents of the Mountain State are wondering if legalizing recreational adult cannabis use is next.
While our team at West Virginia Marijuana Card will guide you through every step of registering to receive medical marijuana in West Virginia, we’re also a top source of cannabis news.
Read on to learn more about what a close vote on cannabis decriminalization tells us about the future of West Virginia’s cannabis policies.
What exactly is decriminalization?
Decriminalization happens when recreational cannabis remains illegal but penalties are reduced. Decriminalization looks a bit different everywhere that it’s implemented. However, it usually makes cannabis possession punishable by a reasonable fine with no jail time required. Decriminalization can happen at the federal, state, or local level.
Often decriminalization is used as a stepping stone toward the legalization of adult recreational cannabis use, as well as toward more broad-reaching medical marijuana policies.
Could an amendment decriminalize cannabis in West Virginia?
In March 2021, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted on an amendment that would remove the criminal penalty from cannabis possession by adults age 21 and over. Introduced by Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, the amendment was part of a broad-ranging bill to reform West Virginia’s criminal code.
According to Pushkin, the amendment would be a simple way to decriminalize cannabis throughout the state of West Virginia. He argued that it would free up law enforcement to focus on violent offenders.
Under the amendment, selling, transferring, and growing cannabis would all remain felony offenses.
Despite receiving strong bi-partisan support, the amendment failed, with the final vote being 46-53.
What does the recent vote tell us about West Virginia’s cannabis policies?
While West Virginia lawmakers are not ready to decriminalize adult cannabis possession, the amount of genuine debate sparked by the amendment is a good sign that additional cannabis reforms will be forthcoming.
Meanwhile, the vote confirms that West Virginia’s medical marijuana program is still the absolute best way to obtain legal, well-regulated, high quality cannabis in West Virginia.
If you have a qualifying condition, or even think you might have a qualifying condition, it pays to schedule a consultation with a medical marijuana doctor and learn more about how cannabis might complement your overall health plan.
Ready to register for your WV medical marijuana card? Our team at West Virginia Marijuana Card will guide you through each and every step of the registration process. This includes gathering medical records, scheduling your initial doctor’s visit, filing paperwork, and processing renewals.
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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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