West Virginia House GOP Leader Polls Colleagues On Marijuana Legalization As Revenue Booster

A West Virginia House leader recently circulated an internal poll among Republican lawmakers, inquiring about what kind of policies—including marijuana legalization—they’d be willing to support to increase revenue to the state as part of a plan to eliminate the personal income tax.

The survey listed 12 examples of potential policy changes that could be enacted to offset an estimated $2.1 billion revenue loss if the income tax is repealed. But while Majority Whip Paul Espinosa (R) put legalizing cannabis in that list, he said in a follow-up interview that it doesn’t necessarily signal that it’s something the legislature would pursue.

“Generally speaking, we routinely reach out to our members to gauge their perspective on various issues or even components of issues to gauge whether they’re components of legislation they can support or, just as importantly, if not more importantly, which components are non-starters,” Espinosa said last week.

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