Katherine DeMetre | Infocast
Governor Jim Justice signed a new measure in West Virginia to legalize medical marijuana.
On Apr 19, Governor Jim Justice signed a measure to make West Virginia the 29th legal medical marijuana state. At a brief ceremony at the state capitol, Justice offered words of hope for people in need of medical cannabis.
“This is a day exemplifying the compassion that West Virginians have for their fellow man,” Gov. Justice said. Justice explained that Michael Folk, the Republican that moved the measure through the House of Delegates, showed “real bravery” in his actions.
“If you’re going to be a legislator, you can’t let your religious beliefs or other beliefs dictate every single vote. You’ve got to rise above that and be a public servant,” said Gov. Justice. “By Michael doing that, and taking that step, we’re here today. We’re here to show basic compassion. Doctors are telling us this is a pathway to help those people.”
This is only the beginning for West Virginia – the law still could use improvement. Although the law will allow patients to medicate with extracts, tinctures, and other preparations, they will not be allowed to smoke the cannabis itself, nor grow their own plants.
The state Bureau of Public Health will be overseeing the implementation of the law. Patients will be allowed to obtain identification cards starting July 2019.
West Virginia’s measure comes at a great time for the cannabis industry – almost 60% of the United States has access to marijuana one way or another. Only time will tell when the United States will bring up the discussion on a larger scale.