Medical cannabis oil bills passed by Virginia House, Senate

Bill allows more people to legally use cannabis oil for medical purposes

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RICHMOND, Va. – A bill has been passed by Virginia's House of Delegates to allow more people to legally use cannabis oil for medical purposes, and another version has passed the Senate.

WVIR, our sister station in Charlottesville, reports that the House and Senate must decide on a final version.

Medical marijuana oil is currently only permitted in the state to treat intractable epilepsy, which is basically drug-resistant, but that could soon change. WVIR reports that both versions of the bill call for doctors to decide on a case-by-case basis whether cannabis oil is an appropriate and legal treatment for other disorders.

Jenn Michelle Pedini, the executive director of Virginia NORML, which is a marijuana legalization advocacy organization, said this expanded treatment will help curb the opioid epidemic in the commonwealth like it has in others.

"In those states, we see a 25 percent reduction in opioid overdose fatalities," Pedini said. "Now, three Virginians are overdosing and dying from opiates and heroin every day."

Gov. Ralph Northam, who is a physician, supports the expansion of medical cannabis uses in the state. WVIR reports that he added an emergency enactment clause to both bills, which will expedite the process of him signing a final version into law.

This article is courtesy of WVIR.