First a story:
I have a friend who used to be a full-time reporter at The Herald-Dispatch. He covered all the general elections as we all did.
Before the polls closed, he was wandering around the campaign headquarters looking for several candidates. He was speaking to a candidate in one of those establishments when two men, who had obviously been nipping at a bottle or two, wandered in.
"Can I help you?" the candidate said to them.
"Maybe," one of the happy drunks said with a smile on his face. "We ain't voted yet."
Did he and his friend want whiskey? Money? Both, most likely. My friend said they got neither.
Now my thoughts return to the real reason for this column.
It has been a slow road to the legalization of marijuana in West Virginia. There was much resistance for years, but that resistance became a minority in 2017 when Senate Bill 386 was signed into law on April 19. It legalized marijuana for specific medical conditions.
It was supposed to go into effect this month. Do you see any legal marijuana for those suffering from intractable pain? I don't.
I suspect politics is involved in the state administrators dragging their heels on the medical marijuana issue.
There have been excuses, and none of them make any sense. There were fears banks were worried about being charged with violating federal drug and banking laws.
Poppycock. If banks see a chance to make more money, they'll jump at it, be it legal or illegal.
Then there were worries about "the process," whatever that means.
Without a "process" for the relevant departments to accept and disperse funds relating to applications for permits, and fees associated with implementing the act, the original timelines for rolling out the program can no longer be met, they said.
In case you are wondering what the "process" is, look for it on the internet. It appears that someone stricken with pain and with no other relief must prostrate themselves before several divisions of state government, and doctors who want to prescribe medical marijuana must do the same.
Then there is the MMJ card you must have to be able to get medical marijuana. In other words, you are going to have to be branded by the state as a "user," before being allowed to get medical marijuana.
Does anyone who takes prescription opioids have to sign up for a card and carry it at all times?
Give me a break.
My cynical side is showing right now. If I didn't know better, I would believe the politicians are wanting big money in all its many legal and illegal forms to move forward with a law that would provide relief to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of West Virginian who hurt.
I can hear the folks charged with implementing the medical marijuana now, saying to the many providers of the weed: "We ain't decided yet who is going to provide Mountain Mama with marijuana," with hands outstretched.
Stranger things have happened in Mountain Mama.
Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.