West Virginia Democrats introduce marijuana decriminalization bill

By ERIN BECK

The Register-Herald

Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, said that since the federal government has failed to act on the rising cost of prescription drugs, which is one of the biggest drivers of health care costs, states are taking the issue into their own hands.
(Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero)

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — On the House of Delegates floor Thursday morning, Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, announced that he and several other lawmakers had introduced a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Bates, who said his position had evolved on the issue, said marijuana decriminalization could help solve West Virginia’s “population problem.” The state has lost residents due to an aging population and people moving out of state.

“West Virginia’s greatest export is not its coal,” Bates said. “It’s its people, and in particular, it’s young people.”

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