The state of West Virginia still prohibits the use of marijuana in the state, saved for its medical use. Hence, if you intend to smoke or use marijuana within the state, you better relent, for you may get slapped with charges and penalties due to the violation of the state laws on marijuana. At present, the non-medical possession of small amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor crime in the state.
Medical Marijuana Laws of West Virginia
The first bill for the legalization of medical marijuana was proposed to the state legislative body in 2010. Bills likewise were proposed in the succeeding years but failed to prosper. The bills such as those of House Bill 2909 and Senate Bill 546 were passed but failed to advance.
However, in 2017, the Senate Bill 386 was passed, and the passing of this bill marked the beginning of the legalization of medical marijuana for some specific medical conditions. Governor Jim Justice then signed the bill into law on the 19th of April of the same year. Its effectivity however will start on July 2018. This bill allows patients to obtain medical cannabis in the forms of oil, pills, topical forms, dermal patch, tincture, and non-plant forms.
Drug Possession Laws of West Virginia
West Virginia still has stringent laws on marijuana, and you will be punished with misdemeanor for possession of small amount of marijuana within the state. Here are the concomitant punishments and penalties for any violation of the state laws:
- If you are caught with small amount of marijuana, you will be charged with misdemeanor, 1 to 5 years of imprisonment, and maximum fine of $1,000.
The sale and distribution likewise of marijuana is punishable with the following penalties:
- If you are caught with any amount of marijuana, you will be charged with felony, 1 to 5 years of imprisonment, and maximum fine of $15,000.
- If you are caught trafficking into the state, you will be charged with felony, 1 to 5 years of imprisonment, and maximum fine of $15,000.
- If you are caught selling to minors or selling within 1,000 feet of a school, your offense will become graver, and you will be charged with felony, and up to 2 years of imprisonment.
- The cultivation of marijuana within the state is also punishable with grave offense and penalties, and the offense and penalties usually depend on the amount of marijuana that you cultivate.
Can Employers require their Employees and Applicants to Undergo Drug Tests?
West Virginia has clear-cut laws on the necessary conditions that employers must consider when conducting drug tests in the workplace. The statutes on drug testing in the workplace are all delineated in the West Virginia Workplace Act. House Bill 2957 directed the creation of this Act and the said Act has the following statutory conditions for drug testing in the workplace:
- Employers must have drug-testing policy, and a copy of this drug-testing policy should be provided the employees and applicants with conditional job offers.
- Employers may test current and prospective employees for drugs or alcohol based on the drug testing policy of the employers.
- Employers should pay for all the costs of drug tests.
- Drug tests should be conducted by licensed drug testing laboratories.
- Employers can conduct drug tests if there is a reasonable suspicion that the inability of the employee to perform his/her job is due to drug use.
- If there is an accident that led to injury, death, or damage to properties within the workplace.
- The test results should be kept confidential.
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