March 13, 2018, Virginia
To address the grievances of MMJ patients and to ensure that cannabis advocates remain satisfied with his marijuana reforms, Ralph Northam has signed the House Bill 1251, which entails significant expansion of Virginia’s medical cannabis program.
The bill was earlier approved by the state’s House of Delegates and Senate in February with unanimous vote. The original MMJ bill in the state was put in effect in 2015.
The expansion of MMJ laws have finally become a part of the state legislation and soon patients will be able to reap its benefits. According to new provisions of the law, doctors can recommend MMJ medications for any disease where they believe it can help in alleviating the condition of patients. Earlier, only people with intractable epilepsy were qualified for the use of MMJ.
Moreover, THC-A oil is now also classified as MMJ medication for the treatment of critical health issues. New amendments also allow MMJ companies to provide one to three month supply of medications to patients.
Marijuana advocates in Virginia have also commended this development. Jenn Michelle Pedini, an executive directive of Virginia chapter of NORMAL (an advocate group pushing for cannabis reforms) has applauded this expansion of MMJ bill because it will help thousands of patients in the state who earlier couldn’t get their cannabis medications.
According to her, people suffering from Crohn’s disease, different cancers and PTSD will now have access to MMJ medications to reduce the degree of their ailments and sufferings. Aside from marijuana advocates, general public opinion regarding MMJ was also in line. A public poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that 94 percent of residents are in favor of therapeutic use of marijuana, while 59 percent Virginians also endorse the legalization of adult-use cannabis.
Benjamin L. Cline, a Republican member of the House of Delegates, presented the House Bill 1251 on the floor. While talking to news reporters, he mentioned that MMJ was a non-harming alternative of opioids for the patients suffering from different types of chronic pain. It is worth mentioning that the opioid crisis has engulfed the entire country, which prompted Trump administration to declare opioid crisis a health emergency.
Democratic Delegate Eileen Filler is a co-patron of the newly approved bill. She has been striving to push for MMJ reforms when a family of four-year old epileptic patient asked her to introduce medical cannabis legislations in 2014. She is extremely pleased with the ratification of HB-1251. She also admits that things process very slowly in the parliament and it’s very big of patients and their families to show tremendous patience during the entire waiting period.
Filler also terms the improvements to the medical bill as an educational process to know more about the therapeutic side of cannabis. Virginians don’t have to wait for the implementation of this new bill, because as per one of its clause, the law will go into effect as soon as it gets ratified from the governor’s office.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]