West Virginia to become 29th state to legalise marijuana for medical use

A bill to legalise marijuana for medical purposes is expected to passed in West Virginia, which will make it the 29th state in the US to decriminalise the drug.

Senate Bill 386 passed both chambers of the state government and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Jim Justice, a proponent
of decriminalising marijuana.

The passing of the bill will be welcome news for those suffering from PTSD,

chronic pain and brain injury.

Several research papers have suggested that heroin use goes down in states where marijuana is legal.

The Centres for Disease Control found that West Virginia has the highest opioid drug overdose death rate in the country, and overdoses increased by close to 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

Colleen Barry, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research, found that opioid overdose deaths decrease by as much as 25 per cent in states that decriminalise the drug.

In the first year after such a decriminalising law is passed, there is also a decrease in deaths caused by prescription opioids, the report showed.

The law in West Virginia, if it passes, would be more restrictive than other states.

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Michael Harvey

Michael Harvey has been a contributing writer and journalist for the Pluto Daily since January 2014.