CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A proposal to allow medical marijuana is once up for discussion by state lawmakers.
A possible proposal was examined by lawmakers Wednesday during an interim committee on health meeting at the State Capitol. A bill was previously rejected last year before it reached a vote.
During the meeting legislative staff attorney Charlie Roskovensky briefly explained the proposal and then entertained questions from lawmakers.
Under the proposal, Roskovensky explained how people would need to acquire a registration card in order to obtain marijuana, and that would start only through a relationship with a doctor.
“The doctor would make a recommendation that medicinal marijuana could prove useful to that particular patient,” he explained. “That patient would then take that certification and get their registration card from DHHR.”
There was concern raised during the meeting on whether people could be able to obtain fake cards and Roskovensky believed that it could happen but was unsure on how easy it would be to do so.
In addition, the proposal would not allow people to grow the drug themselves, but rather they would have to acquire it from state-created Compassion Centers.
“There would be five created in the first year and then those Compassion Centers would be regulated by the state where individuals could go there to get their product instead of growing it themselves,” Roskovensky said.
If West Virginia was to legalize medical marijuana, it would join with 20 other states and Washington, D.C. that have already done so.
But even if the state passed a law legalizing medical marijuana, Roskovensky said an individual could still be prosecuted at the federal level if the government chose to do so. Currently medical marijuana is illegal federally, but the government has chosen not to prosecute it.
Roskovensky could not explain all the details of the proposed legislation during the meeting as the proposal was in rough format and would need considerable massaging from lawmakers.
The issue could next be discussed at the 2014 Regular Legislative Session scheduled to begin in January.