Letter to the Editor : Medical Marijuana Day  

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Dear Editor:

On Mar. 22, West Virginia citizens are encouraged to participate in the Medical Marijuana Lobby Day. The purpose of the event is to connect West Virginians to their elected officials in Charleston. This is your chance to have your voices heard from the inside of the Capitol.

Organizer Steve Short scheduled the event in order to as he says, “…show them we are not going anywhere and we want legal marijuana in West Virginia.” Mr. Short is motivated to advocate for legalization due to his own battles with opioid addiction caused by medicine prescribed to him by his physicians. “Marijuana was the only way to break the cycle” states Steve.

Advocacy for marijuana legalization is especially important during the final part of the 2017 Legislative Session due to the existing budget crisis that threatens drastic cuts in services and radical tax increases. Legalization can create the following benefits:

  • Provide $194 million in tax revenues towards the budget crisis.
  • Inject $271 million of agriculture revenue into the hands of West Virginia farmers.
  • Allow 8,352 West Virginians to be employed in the cannabis industry and create 5,940 new jobs in complementary industries such as medicine and tourism.
  • End the spending of $17.4 million per annum on marijuana arrests.
  • Decrease opioid overdoses by 24.8%, reduce overall opioid use by 64%, lower opioid abuse by 50%, and stop 182 of your fellow citizens from dying this year.
  • Enable 75% of opiate addicts to end their habit and provide a safer and more effective medical alternative to deadly prescription drugs.

The meeting point will be in the lower Rotunda from 10 to noon and lobbying will continue until four o’clock. Our goal is to speak with as many of our delegates and elected officials as time and participants allow. We will be forming a line outside of the Speaker of the House Armstead’s office and advocate for medical marijuana. Please be respectful to your elected officials and dress appropriately. Parking is available at Laidley Field and free shuttle service is provided from there to the Capitol. For more information on cannabis please visit the Facebook page, Marijuana & WV. For more event information contact Danny Bragg by email at WVGreenisthenewblack@gmail.com or by phone at 304-410-0417.

Greg Wingo

Lewisburg