Decriminalization & Home Grows Proposed In West Virginia

West Virginia Del. Sammi Brown has re-proposed legislation to decriminalize cannabis possession and legalize the home growing of cannabis by adults at least 21 years old.

Full story after the jump.

A West Virginia lawmaker is renewing her push for cannabis decriminalization in the state, according to a WOWK report. Del. Sammi Brown (D) is reintroducing HB 3108 which, under to the previous proposal, would decriminalize possession up to 225 grams (about 8 ounces) by adults 21-and-older and allow them to grow up to 12 plants.

The measure would allow individuals 21-and-older to “use, grow, possess, transport and give away cannabis and homemade cannabis products without remuneration.” The provisions would allow gifts of up to 30 grams and the transport of up to 60 grams.

The previous version of the bill also included expungement provisions and would require the counties to “review all arrest and conviction record of every cannabis offender of every person convicted of a cannabis offense beginning in calendar year 1937 to the present.”

The bill would, effectively, move the state toward a taxed-and-regulated market – much like in the case of Vermont, which legalized cannabis for adult use in 2018 but did not create a regulated industry.

In an interview with WOWK, Del. Tom Fast (R) called the plan “very imprudent,” adding that if lawmakers were going to take the route why wouldn’t they “just decriminalize heroin and any other drug.”

Rusty Williams, a patient advocate for the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, said the organization would welcome the broad reforms due to the “restrictive” nature of the state’s medical cannabis program.

“One of my major issues with the Medical Cannabis Act was it is very restrictive as far as the conditions we are going to allow doctors to recommend cannabis for…if we decriminalize that is going to open up access for people who would not otherwise have that access.” – Williams, to WOWK

Last week, the state’s Democratic Caucus urged the Department of Commerce to fast track an economic study on the impact of recreational cannabis legalization in the state.

Last session, the measure did not advance out of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

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