Excerpts from the op-ed:
West Virginia has America’s highest concentration of opioid pain pills. According to a Washington Post report released last week, 853,486,418 prescription pain pills were supplied to our state from 2006 to 2012. In 2017, 833 West Virginians died from opioid overdoses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Despite these staggering statics, the only accessible medication for pain management in a blue collar state like West Virginia are opioids.
This crisis is why in 2017, as a member of the House of Delegates, we took action. With my support, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 386, the Creating West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act. Three-fourths of the House of Delegates and 80 percent of the Senate voted for this bipartisan bill, which Gov. Jim Justice then signed.
Not only was I supportive of SB 386 but I proposed additional legislation to expand, improve and refine the program. Yet even though SB 386 went into effect on July 5, 2017, two years later the program still hasn’t started.
Clearly, West Virginia needs a modernized, transparent and proactive state Treasurer’s Office. We simply can’t afford these inexplicable, bureaucratic delays. The lives of our friends, families and neighbors are at stake. It’s time for a change.
The full Op-Ed can be read HERE.