Senator Mike Romano says West Virginia should legalize recreational marijuana

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | January 02, 2019
Just six months remain until medical cannabis is to become available in West Virginia, though issues with the bill’s content continue to cause delays.

Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, believes that because of these delays, the July 1 date will not be met.
“It needs to be done. People need to be helped,” Romano said. “You wouldn’t withhold hydrocodone from people, even though there’s side effects that can hurt people if it’s misused, but we give that because pain medication is necessary. This is a necessary drug to be able to give to patients.”
There are two repairs Romano said need to be made to the bill, which was first proposed in 2017, in order for medical cannabis to move forward in the Mountain State. Both of those needed fixes, he said, are related to funding.
“We need to have some kind of bank for folks to put their money in because federal banks will not allow their money in it because they’re afraid somebody from the feds, U.S. Attorney General’s Office is going to prosecute them,” Romano said. “And two, we need to get some money to the commission so they can function and do the things they need to do.”
Romano said there’s also been ideology issues, with Democrats and Republicans in Charleston battling back and forth over components of the bill that he believes are vital needs.
“I put smokeables back in for cancer patients,” he said. “I increased the number of processors and retail distributors because you should have one in every county if it can make it. People shouldn’t have to cross county lines to get their prescriptions, is my opinion.”
Then, Romano said the House Republicans attempted to make a deal.
“I was told by the leadership in the House that if we let them pass a bill first and it came over, we could do a strike and insert, which means we strike theirs out and put ours in, and they would pass it. That occurred after much negotiation,” he said. “They took back out smokeables, they took out the extra growers and processors.”
Seeing this become a highly politicized issue when people need the help has caused Romano to become discouraged.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story by Brittany Murray of the AJR News Network.

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