West Virginia Senators Discuss Making Kratom, Delta-8 & Delta-9 Schedule 1 Drugs, Schools' New Policy On Medical Marijuana & Naloxone

Zinger Key Points
  • Kratom, delta-8, and delta-10 could be similar to opioids in terms of addictive properties, legistlators say.
  • “Frankly, our kids are using it at record rates,” GOP state senator Vince Deed said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee in West Virginia recently approved legislation that would place kratom, delta-8, and delta-10 products as Schedule 1 drugs.

Kratom, a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, is currently not illegal and can produce effects similar to opioids. Delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC are chemical components of the cannabis plant, and although they occur naturally in very small concentrations, they can produce mild psychoactive effects in some people similar to delta-9 THC.

The bill will be assessed in the full Senate next week, and if turns into law it would remove these types of products from sales across the Mountain State, reported WVVA.

According to former U.S. Attorney and state senator Mike Stuart, approving this bill and eliminating these products is necessary because they often end up in children's hands. He claims that kratom, delta-8, and delta-10 could be similar to opioids in terms of addictive properties.

“If someone is operating a big piece of equipment and a high-wall collapses, the drug test will show there was nothing in their system and that’s just not true,” Stuart said. “And Delta 8 and Delta 10 are unneeded because we have medical marijuana, where if you follow the regulations, get the medical marijuana card, and go through the channels, it’s a lot safer.”

Another GOP state senator, Vince Deed, agreed. “Frankly, our kids are using it at record rates,” Deed said. “If you look at suspensions over the past 30 days, Lincoln County — 26 suspensions. Barbour County — 29 suspensions. These drugs of addiction only lead to misery. There will no doubt be individuals who claim the benefits of these drugs.”

Medical Cannabis, Naloxone In Schools

Meanwhile, schools across the states are working on new sets of rules for enabling medical marijuana patients to use their cannabis safely at school.

At the Raleigh County Schools Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, assistant superintendent Serena Starcher and school health director Angie Foster presented new regulation dubbed medication administration and storage – standards for the possession and use of medical cannabis by a student, writes the Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.

Starcher and Foster also brought up the question of changing the regulation to allow for the administration of naloxone (an opioid overdose reversal drug) when needed during school. 

Richard Snuffer, a Raleigh County board member, commented on the medical marijuana policy, saying it would “open up a can of worms.”

"I know we didn't open the can of worms, somebody else gave it to us ... but I see a lot of red flags in this thing, but that's just me," Snuffer said.

Under the proposed rules, which are put on 30-day comment, medical marijuana will not be kept on school property, and can’t be administered in dry leaf or plant form, only the following forms are approved: gummies, topicals, and tinctures. No school employees will be administering the substance.

Snuffer still thinks this will impose a heavy load on principals. "I understand that (medical cannabis) has helped a lot of people and stuff," he said, "it's just — I guess we'll learn as we go. I can see a lot of problems with it."

It seems that the new naloxone policy was more welcomed than medical marijuana. Board member Marie Hamrick said, “It just makes sense to me that it should be available for our kids.” 

This comes almost two months after Danielle Walker, a Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, introduced House Bill 2091 which would legalize marijuana possession of one ounce or less of cannabis, and personal use for people 21 years or older.

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