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Editorial: Medical marijuana is serious subject not taken lightly

From The Dominion Post of Morgantown:
You can find the medical marijuana survey at

If you read the results of many surveys, you wonder whether to take them seriously.

Of course, that is if they don’t jive with your opinion about that subject.

However, when surveys are not taken in isolation, they can be useful.

One such example is a survey the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) posted online on medical marijuana last week.

The idea behind this survey is to gauge how many patients are interested in medical marijuana and glean data about them.

This year, state lawmakers approved legislation to allow doctors to provide medical marijuana, beginning in July 2019.

The state Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine is also conducting a provider survey of physicians.

According to the state’s top health officer, about 260 people completed the survey within hours of its posting Wednesday. State officials also plan to gather information from Medicaid and PEIA, along with further data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Judging by this survey and other actions by the DHHR, the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board and others, this law is being implemented properly.

Some were taken aback by having to wait more than two years — Gov. Jim Justice signed the law in April — before it goes into effect.

However, starting from scratch to create the structure and rules for medical cannabis is no simple matter, and the potential for controversy is ever present.

The advisory board first met in August. Later that month, some of its members joined a state delegation on a fact-finding trip to Colorado. That state first approved medical marijuana in 2000; West Virginia became the 29th state to do so.

The results of the DHHR survey will be reviewed later and presented to the advisory board by the year’s end. The board meets Dec. 14, in Morgantown.

We are further encouraged that this board has opened its meetings to the public.

Learning the demographics, sizing up the market, projecting revenues, insight into the patients and physicians, etc., that this survey will outline should prove helpful.

True, much of this data will only provide for a general idea. But it’s encouraging that no one is taking this law lightly.

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