Make Marijuana Legal in West Virginia

Editor, News-Register:

Regarding Governor Tomblin’s budget recommendations: West Virginia towns, cities, counties, and state governments have pulled hobo pockets inside out, wandering about, lamenting about how to replenish done-in pockets — $213.7 million and racing to $500 million. “Oh woe is us — what are we to do?”

There is an opportunity that will push those pockets back into pants and skirts, filling them with money and stifling those “woes.” But, alas, righteousness continues to gobble common sense: State legislatures have failed to legislate marijuana, even though the opportunity slaps them in the face every day.

Legislators at every level throughout the state have been supplied the medical marijuana revenue-to-be-gained numbers — $45 million — and the law enforcement expense-to-be-saved numbers — $17 million. But as past performances have proven, they do not have the courage to pull the state from its financial tailspin — even though Gov. Justice, outgoing senators, Cole and Kessler, support such a humane and prudent initiative.

The naysayers would rather pick up cigar butts and blow smoke in our faces and pilferage our pockets — and let the state continue to pick at leftovers, e.g., coal and gas revenues.

Thirty-two states have legalized some dispersal of marijuana, and another nine are considering it. These figures make West Virginia an island onto itself. Failure to require the aforementioned $62 million strands West Virginians on a sinking state without a raft.

Ignoring an outdated federal law, the aforementioned 41 states have, for all extent and purpose, codified legal marijuana usage. If our state fails to accelerate some form of legalized marijuana then, I believe, West Virginia’s 55 counties should follow the example of the aforementioned states and undertake the prudent job of going it alone.

Sonny Fair