On April 19th, Governor Jim Justice signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in West Virginia. With this law passing, West Virginia has become the 29th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. The governor signed the bill after it passed the state legislature on April 6th.
It is important to recognize the qualifying conditions regarding medical marijuana and how recreational use is still illegal in West Virginia. Here is a closer look at what this new law permits and prohibits.
Qualifying conditions and restrictions
The new law recognizes cannabis as a treatment for patients who have terminal illnesses or other specified conditions, including the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Crohn's disease
- Intractable pain
Patients will be able to receive marijuana in the form of pills, gels, oils, ointments, creams, liquids, tinctures, and vaporizable extracts. The law prohibits home cultivation, and patients can only legally possess a month's supply or less.
Driving under the influence
This medical marijuana law is more strict than those in states like Washington and Colorado. For example, courts can charge you with driving under the influence of marijuana if a blood THC level of three nanograms per millimeter is detected. This means patients must be cautious when using the drug and driving.
It is crucial to remember that all other use of marijuana remains illegal. Possession, cultivating, delivering and trafficking are all punishable criminal offenses. Depending on the severity of the crime, it may be a misdemeanor or felony. The fact that medical marijuana is legal does not indicate any decriminalization or legalization of recreational use.
West Virginia is just one of many states that have adopted a new law regarding marijuana. Over time, there may be further strides made to legalize recreational use, but nothing has happened yet. If you are facing charges with any marijuana crime, be sure to consult a defense attorney.