CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis is telling eligible West Virginians with serious medical conditions that they can now register for a medical cannabis patient card.
Governor Jim Justice signed the ‘Medical Cannabis Act’ into law on April 19, 2017. Tonight, some are saying West Virginia is still years behind when it comes to medical marijuana.
“I personally don’t think I’d be here without medical cannabis,” said Rusty Williams, a patient advocate.
Williams was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. He was uninsured at the time, so while he fought for health insurance, the cancer spread and he had to undergo chemotherapy. “I made the decision at the beginning that for as long as I could use cannabis instead of pharmaceuticals to deal with the side effects of chemo, I was gunna do that,” said Williams.
Williams says without medical marijuana, he wouldn’t be here today. “It got me through the whole deal. I didn’t have to take any pain meds, I didn’t have to take nausea medication. You know, medical cannabis saved my life.”
And today Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch announced his encouragment for those seeking this treatment. But, patients will need to be analyzed by a certified doctor before they can apply for the card.
“The individual who is seeking medical cannabis must be certified by a physician, and then they apply for the registration card online,” said Crouch.
People like Williams argue, the Mountain State is behind the times on this process.
“We are in 2021 and our law was signed in April on 2017, patients still don’t have access, if you’re caught with cannabis you’re sill treated like a criminal, and I feel like West Virginia is moving backwards.”Rusty Williams
Applicants are advised to be aware of all federal laws regarding the possession, production and distribution of medical cannabis.