Krawitz and Amatucci: It’s time to respect Virginia’s cannabis heritage and look to its equitable future | Columnists

Jason Amatucci and Michael Krawitz

MG Hemp trueharvest 060519 (copy) (copy)

In 2019, Matt Hagan’s truharvest farms in Christiansburg with 85 acres was said to be one of the largest hemp farms in Virginia.

To the objective observer Virginia seems to be moving very quickly with Cannabis policy reform. We would like to present four Virginian’s stories without which we would not be where we are now.

Roy Scherer has dedicated decades of his life to Cannabis policy reform after serving in the United States Air Force. Starting in the early 1970’s with Virginians for the Study of Marijuana Laws he succeeded in bringing us out of the dark ages of marijuana policy. Roy’s work led to a 1978 Senate commission calling for decriminalization however it would take Roy and the many that have joined his side until 2020 to actually implement that change.

In 1979, Dr. William Regelson, a professor of medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, who conducted government-approved research on the benefits of THC, was a driving force behind our new law in 1979 allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis to treat glaucoma and to help cancer. This was our nations first state medical cannabis access law.

Dr. Billy Martin was a top flight Cannabis researcher and professor serving as Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at VCU. Dr. Martin was asset to the Virginia legislature. He was one of those key researchers respected worldwide for the creation of an important area of study well known to the pharmaceutical industry but still absent in most medical schools, the ECS or Endo Cannabinoid System.

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