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West Virginia Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

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"Some of the House amendments to the bill are concerning, but it still has the potential to provide relief to thousands of seriously ill West Virginians", said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

The state House and Senate have voted to end $15 million in annual support for greyhound racing at the tracks in Wheeling and Nitro but leave $1 million for dog shelters and adoption.

Under the amended bill, with which the Senate agreed, a doctor would be allowed to give a patient a certificate to use medical marijuana, which could be administered by pill, ointment, patch, tincture, oil or vapor, but not smoked.

From an idea that had no chance of passage at the beginning of the 60-day legislative session, the medical use of marijuana went from a proposal in the state Senate to a forced vote on the floor of the House of Delegates within the space of a few days. Other funding sources could include grants, bequests, transfers and money appropriated by the Legislature.

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Justice says the tentative agreement, which has smaller cuts than the Senate and House were advancing, protects higher education and services for the state's poorest residents.

The House approved a spending plan with fewer overall cuts, taking almost 6 percent from higher education.

The Senate passed similar legislation in March.

State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said that gain was partly offset by corporate net income tax, consumer sales tax and business and occupation taxes that were more than $8 million below estimates altogether.

The state would also apply for matching federal highway funds. They could be called back for an additional special session called by the governor.

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