WV Gubernatorial Candidates Address Marijuana Reform

Credit: wvva

In a debate televised by WV Public Media on April 18, 2016, Democratic candidates for governor were asked their views on legalizing marijuana.

State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler is in favor of taking steps to decriminalize certain marijuana-related offenses. He also supports legalizing medical marijuana for people with serious medical conditions, such as cancer and MS.

I think we need to decriminalize some of the [. . .] particularly marijuana offenses. There are way too many people that have got a criminal record that can no longer work. — Kessler

Kessler also pointed out the challenge of getting any marijuana reform through the current legislature, citing the difficulty of passing the “brunch bill,” which allows for sale of alcohol before 1 PM on Sunday.

One of Kessler’s opponents, former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, is more cautious in his views on cannabis. Goodwin fears that legalizing marijuana, even for medical use, could add to WV’s already overwhelming drug addiction problems. 

People don’t understand that the marijuana of today has 10 times the THC content of the marijuana of the late ’60s, early ’70s,” Goodwin said, “but here is the problem I have ultimately is, every time we have arrested a druggy, they have said they went through marijuana. –Goodwin

The third candidate, Jim Justice, declined multiple invitations to participate in last night’s debate.


2 thoughts on “WV Gubernatorial Candidates Address Marijuana Reform

  1. Goodwin was a DEA agent? Lol How did he or “we” arrested people?
    BTW no matter the potency, doctors writing too many persecutions is the real problem thatvfaces our state. Now more people are doing herione that started out on a script of lauracet. How out of touch and close minded are canidates being to not think medical Marijuana won’t help our vets and those that become dependent on pills for pain get over real life threatening addiction to pharmaceuticals.

    • dandelion9999 says:

      Excellent point. The DEA changes to how opiate painkillers have to be prescribed that went into effect in July 2014 (I think that was the date) really put the opiate addiction situation here into crisis mode. Suddenly, you can’t get into a pain clinic to be seen every month to get your Norco refilled on a paper script because of simple supply/demand. Heroin is a readily available and relatively cheap alternative to oxy/hydrocoodone for those who are addicted. My story is that I have a genetic anomaly that causes my opiate receptors to not work “normally,” so even after almost 7 years of taking hydrocodone every single day, I didn’t have any withdrawal. The unfortunate part is that the hydrocodone also did nothing for my pain. Marijuana is a much more sensible and safe option for all of us, whether we have normal opiate receptors or not. I have reached out two different times to Mr. Goodwin in hopes of having a conversation about how medical marijuana could be a solution to our opiate problem in WV. I hope he takes me up on the offer. I will continue to offer.

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