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West Virginia U.S. Attorney to Hold Invitation Only Marijuana Symposium

Ted S. Warrem
AP Photo
In this Sept. 25, 2018 photo, a worker holds a marijuana plant leaf in a massive tomato greenhouse being renovated to grow pot in Delta, British Columbia.

A federal prosecutor will hold a symposium on marijuana Wednesday in Charleston. The invitation-only event will feature law enforcement officials and researchers opposed to marijuana legalization.

Mike Stuart, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, is hosting the event alongside a regional task force aimed at curbing drug trafficking. 

Featured speakers at the event include Dr. Mourad Gabriel, an ecologist who assists law enforcement in remediating illegal grow sites, and Kevin Sabet, executive director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a nonprofit that opposes legalization and commercialization. 

Stuart himself has also been a staunch and vocal opponent of marijuana reform, including legalization for recreational and medical use.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico allow marijuana for medical use. Ten states and D.C. have legalized the drug for recreational purposes. It remains illegal on the federal level.

West Virginia is slated to provide medical access to the drug on July 1, 2019, although technical cleanups to the law failed to pass during the 2018 legislative session.

Public opinion polling conducted by Gallup and Pew -- released separately in October 2018 -- indicate roughly two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. 

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