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The West Virginia State Capitol in on U.S. Route 60 in Charleston, West Virginia..

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Democratic West Virginia House Delegate Sean Hornbuckle has introduced a bill to legalize cannabis use for adults 21 and older in order to allow “law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes” and generate revenue “for education and other public purposes.”

According to the bill text, the measure would regulate cannabis “in a manner similar to alcohol,” meaning taxes would be imposed, products would be tested and labeled, and drivers suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis would be charged with DUI. Public-use would not be allowed and subject to a $200 fine. The measure would impose felony penalties for extraction using substances other than water or vegetable glycerin, providing for up to three years in prison and fines up to $5,000.

Adults would be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of flower in public and 5 grams of “hashish,” and allowed to grow up to three flowering plants and three immature plants out of public view.

Municipalities would be allowed to enact their own industry rules or bans under the law. The legislation does not indicate what the tax structure would be, or whether towns and cities would be able to add their own tax rates.

The measure has been moved to the House Health and Human Resources Committee, and would need to pass through the Judiciary Committee before moving to the floor for a full vote.

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