A bill to legalize recreational marijuana was introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates this week.
Arkansas and Florida have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Could another politically red state be looking at major reform?
House Bill 3035 has been submitted to the West Virginia House of Delegates. The bill was introduced by Delegate Sean Hornbuckle who is seeking to legalize recreational marijuana.
“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,” the opening language of the bill reads.
The bill also cited regulation and child safety as key motivators for legalization.
“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.”
There are eight states that have already legalized recreational marijuana. If West Virginia were to become the ninth, it could take some time. The bill would need to endure an extensive legislative process including approval by several state committees. Should the bill survive the committees, then it would find its way to the house floor for a vote.