CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In a historic vote, the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 386, which provides for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. The bill allows physicians to certify the use of cannabis for the treatment of various physical and mental conditions and establishes a Medical Cannabis Commission, which would develop regulations over the cultivation, processing and disbursement of the crop and industry.

The following statements can be attributed to Joseph Cohen, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia:

“People across the state stood together and spoke with one voice.  They demanded that the legislature let compassion and common sense drive policymaking for once.  At the beginning of the legislative session, almost no one thought a medical marijuana bill could pass.  But our leaders simply could not ignore the historic groundswell of public support.”

“By legalizing medical cannabis, West Virginia will be providing relief to so many who are in pain.  Veterans suffering from PTSD, children with epilepsy, and people with cancer all now have another treatment option.  And with this new pain relief option available, fewer people will need to rely on highly addictive opiates. The sound private medical decisions of doctors and their patients will no longer be blocked by the state.”

“While this new law isn’t perfect, it is so much better than the current outright prohibition of marijuana.  This is a huge step in the long fight for just drug policies.  We hope this is a sign that the state is ready to turn the corner on how it views addiction and that we are now ready to end the absurd war on drugs in West Virginia.”

For media inquiries, please contact ACLU-WV Communications Director, Tim Ward, at 304-654-6397 or