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As of Monday, Virginia has joined the growing list of states that have now legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Senate in Virginia was surprisingly unanimous in its decision to pass the Joint Commission of Health Care Bill, which will allow physicians to recommend cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for treatment.
Virginia delegate Benjamin L. Cline advocated for the bill's passing and was able to successfully carry the bill out from under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Law Subcommittee to become the "Let Doctors Decide" bill, according to News Leader. "The literature on medical cannabis is going to be evolving rapidly now, and because of this, it is not a decision that should be in the hands of the legislature. Instead, it should be with physicians," said Senator Siobhan Dunnavant.
To many, the sensibility of bills like this that allow doctors the option to prescribe medical marijuana as a treatment is a no-brainer. Virginians suffering from cancer, PTSD, Crohn's disease, epilepsy, and a myriad of other conditions have lobbied for this bill's passing, and now, they have in-state, legal options. “These bills will ensure that Virginians have the ability to stay here at home with their families, with their support networks and not be forced to move to another state in the middle of a healthcare crisis to seek medical cannabis therapies," said Jenn Michelle Pedini, who is a two-time cancer survivor and executive director of Virginia NORML which works to reform marijuana laws.
The bill will now pass to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who has been publicly supportive or medicinal marijuana previously.