Delegate Mike Manypenny (D) has introduced a bill to allow the legalization of small amounts of marijuana by adults for medical purposes.
House Bill 4498 would amend the “Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated … all relating to creating the Compassionate Use Act for Medical Cannabis; providing for protections for the medical use of cannabis; limitations of article; prohibiting discrimination; authorizing addition of debilitating medical conditions; registration of qualifying patients and designated care givers; issuance of registry identification cards; affirmative defense and dismissal for medical marihuana; providing misdemeanor offense and criminal penalties for disclosing certain information; and otherwise provides for the enforcement of this article
Language in the bill points out that “Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington state and the District of Columbia, have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use and cultivation of marihuana.”
If passed this bill it would put West Virginia in conflict with federal laws asserting it is still illegal to use, buy and sell marijuana. As stated in the bill, 99 out of 100 arrests for marijuana are by the states, but this bill still will not protect West Virginia citizens from federal prosecution.
The state of West Virginia is legally within its rights to decide this issue based on the 10th Amendment which states; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nowhere in the US Constitution was the federal government given the authority to regulate what plants we grow or consume, this is purely a state power.
If passed, the state will need to take further action to pass legislation informing the federal government that they have no authority delegated to them by the constitution or under the most liberal interpretation of the Commerce Clause to regulate what products are produced, distributed and sold in a state and the they will not be allowed to subject state sanctioned legal business with arrest or prosecution.
The Tenth Amendment Center would suggest to the citizens and legislators of West Virginia that they look to our Model Legislation webpage for examples of bills we have put together that can be used to protect themselves from the federal government and its unconstitutional laws.
Among these are:
Intrastate Commerce Act
Provides that all goods manufactured or made in a state and all services performed in a state, when such goods or services are held, maintained, or retained in the state, shall not be subject to the authority of the Congress of the United States under its constitutional power to regulate commerce.
Sheriffs First Legislation
A “Sheriffs First” bill would make it a state crime for any federal agent to make an arrest, search, or seizure within the state without first getting the advanced, written permission of the elected county sheriff of the county in which the event is to take place.
As proposed House Bill 4498 is a step in the right direction but the federal government will not want to relinquish the power it has taken from the states and the citizens of West Virginia will need to pass further legislation to protect its citizens.
Visit the TACs legislative tracking page HERE
If you live in West Virginia – act NOW. Not tomorrow or next week. Today, not tomorrow – right now.
- Visit the link below for contact information for your state Delegate.
- Click on your Delegate’s name and get their email address and TWO phone numbers – capitol and district offices.
- CALL them. Best option – respectfully, yet firmly urge them to pass this bill. Let them know that you want them to stand up for the Constitution of the United States AND the Constitution of West Virginia – they took an oath to both.
- EMAIL them – even if you call, you can still email too. Or just send them a firm but courteous email urging them to vote yes
on this bill.
- Do the same for the Governor’s office – (304) 558-2000 or 1-888-438-2731 http://www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/SubmitaCommenttotheGovernor.aspx
- Report Back – when you get responses, let us know! We want people to be informed of what their delegates are saying and doing.