A proposal that would make marijuana and hash legal throughout West Virginia has been filed in the state’s legislature.
House Bill 3035 was filed by Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D). According to its summary, the purpose of this bill “is to legalize the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana and establish a regulatory program for growing, selling and testing of marijuana sold in West Virginia.”
The measure would allow those 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hash; they would also be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants (with up to three allowed to be in the “mature” stage at any given time). A system of licensed marijuana retail outlets would also be authorized.
“In the interest of allowing law-enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom, the Legislature of the State of West Virginia finds that the use of marijuana should be legal for a person twenty-one years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol”, states the bill’s official text. “In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizenry, the Legislature further finds and declares that marijuana should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol so that individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana; selling, distributing, or transferring marijuana to minors and other individuals under the age of twenty-one shall remain illegal; driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal; legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors, will conduct sales of marijuana; marijuana sold in this state will be tested, labeled, and subject to additional regulations to ensure that consumers are informed and protected; and in the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the Cannabis plant, hemp should be regulated separately from strains of Cannabis with higher delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.”
House Bill 3035 has been assigned to the House Health and Human Resources Committee.