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Editorial: W.Va. must ensure medical marijuana survey results are honest

From The Wheeling News-Register:

State officials have begun conducting a survey, both online and by mail, to gauge interest in West Virginia’s newly legalized medical marijuana program.

Judging by questions on the survey form, the intent is to determine how many people believe medicinal marijuana would help them cope with illness or injury, and where those people are located. The information will help in deciding where medicinal marijuana dispensaries should be located.

With the program not scheduled to go into operation until July 2019, state officials have plenty of time to plan. A key part of that process should be ensuring that only those who have legitimate need for medicinal marijuana get it — and that even they are given prescriptions on a short-term, strictly monitored basis. Surely abuse of opioid painkillers has taught us that lesson.

The state survey is being conducted anonymously, and that could be a problem. Surely some means of validating survey responses can be found. Otherwise, the state’s plan for where dispensaries are to be located could be influenced by those who don’t really need medicinal marijuana — but are hoping outlets near them are, frankly, opportunities to “score.”

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