Could marijuana be legalized for medical use in our state? That was the topic of discussion Wednesday in Charleston as lawmakers met to discuss the ways that our state could allow patients to use the drug for medical purposes.
Members from the West Virginia Joint Committee on Health along with state lawmakers met for about two hours.
Their discussion was based around the very controversial debate of marijuana for medical use. Officials from the state used the hearing to learn more about the drug, and the ways the state could allow it to be made available, and used by patients with debilitating medical conditions.
According to state officials, West Virginia ranks as one of the worst states when it comes to substance abuse. But it also ranks as one of the states with the highest amount of residents suffering from disabilities. Local officials who back this bill say that it's not a push to legalize the drug, but a way to help patients when traditional treatments have failed.
"There's still a lot of confusion out there. There's still people that believe that this is just the legalization of marijuana. This is
completely different, this will change the law to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients who are not responding to traditional
methods of treatment." said Delegate Mike Manypenny from Taylor County.
Up to 15 states have already legalized the drug for medical use. Here in our area, some local officials have also been looking to make that move for quite some time now and say that this push to legalize the drug for medical use is only to help improve the quality of life of residents who suffer from chronic disabilities.