Medical Marijuana Discussed at West Virginia AP Legislative Lookahead

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia delegate says he’d like to see serious studies at the state Capitol on legalizing medical marijuana despite the House speaker’s recent declaration that such legislation won’t gain a foothold this year.

Kanawha County Democrat Mike Pushkin was part of a panel discussion Friday at the West Virginia Associated Press Legislative Lookahead.

Pushkin says the potential medical benefits and the state’s current budget crisis are some reasons why West Virginia needs to join 28 other states that have comprehensive medical marijuana programs.

But another panelist, Charleston police Lt. Eric Johnson, says West Virginia leads the nation in too many negative areas already.

During the 2016 election campaign, Gov. Jim Justice said he is open to legalizing medical marijuana. But House Speaker Tim Armstead said Thursday the time isn’t right to advance such legislation.