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WVU School of Medicine can lead research in medical marijuana, WVU expert says


WVU experts Jesse Richardson, Valarie Blake and Mark Garofoli can offer insight into West Virginia's medical marijuana law. 

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West Virginia University expert says the state’s medical community has much to learn about marijuana therapy and that WVU can lead the way in research.

A recently bill passed by the West Virginia legislature prescribes several serious health conditions that qualify for marijuana therapy, as well as delivery forms and methods, including pills, oils, topical applications, tincture, liquids and dermal patches.

“Medical marijuana holds great potential in the Mountain State. Many individuals seem to gain relief from marijuana that cannot be found in other existing medications, “said Jesse J. Richardson, associate professor, Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic, WVU College of Law. “The plant grows extremely well in West Virginia, and we have a medical school that can lead the way with medical research.”

Richardson can be reached at 304.293.9460.

“The medical community of West Virginia will have to educate itself and engage with each other on the new law and appropriate prescribing of medical marijuana,” said Valarie Blake, associate professor, WVU College of Law. “Physicians, as the gatekeepers of medical marijuana, will need to feel comfortable with prescribing it or otherwise this legislative effort will mean minimal change for patients.”

Blake is available by email at or at 304.293.8639.

“Just as ethyl alcohol was once legal, then illegal in Prohibition, and now legal once again, one can foresee a future where the safest form of marijuana may become legal in some capacity,” said Mark Garofoli, PharmD, assistant professor WVU School of Pharmacy. “The debate will certainly continue as to what is the safest form, similar to concerns with tobacco or any other habit forming substance.”

Garofoli can be reached through Amy Newton, director of public relations and alumni affairs at the WVU School of Pharmacy. Her phone number is 304.293.7192, and her email is

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



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