New medical marijuana law could come with federal consequences

On April 19, Gov. Jim Justice signed into law Senate Bill 386, which makes West Virginia the 29th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“We’ve done something that’s goodness in my opinion,” Justice said at the time, adding that legalizing the drug could help Mountain State citizens who would have trouble finding relief for severe pain without the new law.

But not everyone thinks legalizing marijuana — even for compassionate medical reasons — is a good idea.

House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, has opposed any legislation that would legalize marijuana in any form and voted against Senate Bill 386. Armstead based his objections in part on concerns the administration of President Donald Trump would clamp down on states that have legalized marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law.

Heather Trela, writing for the New York-based public policy research organization the Rockefeller Institute of Government, said there...

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