WHAG-TV – Legislation has been introduced in West Virginia to either legalize medical marijuana or reduce the criminal penalties for marijuana possession. Read/Watch
An article released by the West Virginia Center of Budget and Policy took a closer look at what legalizing marijuana would mean for the state budget, its prison system, and its chronically ill.
West Virginia Resident, Anthony Vandervelt, said, “I personally don’t use it, but for people who need it, it should be available.”
Officials say that West Virginia pays $17 million a year just to enforce its marijuana laws, but if medical marijuana was legalized, the state would save money by decriminalizing the possession.
Although the numbers are somewhat difficult to predict, officials estimate anywhere from $45 million to $194 million in marijuana tax revenue, but they didn’t just gather statistics regarding the economy.
West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy Executive Director, Ted Boettner, said, “Fewer opioid overdose deaths because it can be a substitution for pain killers that are a huge problem in West Virginia.”