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20 April 2017, 10:25 | Todd Saunders
Caption + FILE- Robin Kepple fishes the Arkansas River near the Spikebuck Recreation Site Sunday
During a brief ceremony at the state capitol, Justice signed a measure to make West Virginia the 29th legal medical marijuana state. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and substantially amended in the House before receiving final legislative approval on April 6.
"It's something that we are continuing to learn, evolve, but as Governor Justice said, if there's a way we can help people with compassion, for the chronic pain being at the heart of it, we must try to do that". "This is a vehicle for our doctors to help the people". "Medical marijuana can be effective in treating a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. Providing patients with a safer alternative to opioids could turn out to be a godsend for this state".
One downside to West Virginia's law is a new standard for driving under the influence of marijuana that erroneously equates impairment with a blood THC level of three nanograms per milliliter.
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Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and OH approved them last April and June, respectively.
Oversight for implementation falls to the Department of Health and Human Resources' Bureau for Public Health which will have regulatory and enforcement authority over the growing, processing, sale and use of medical cannabis within the Mountain State. "Lawmakers are also learning about marijuana's medical benefits from friends, family members, and constituents who have experienced them firsthand in other states". But if you count those 18 states, MPP says, "only three states-Idaho, Indiana, and Kansas-have not approved any form of medical marijuana law".
Medical cannabis is still illegal under federal law, though it is not a prosecution priority for the U.S. Department of Justice with guidance issued in 2013. Medical use was approved by ballot initiative in 14 of those states, beginning with California in 1996.
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