West Virginia Drug Laws

West Virginia Drug Laws

West Virginia ranks in the top ten states for the previous year use of cocaine, previous month use of non-marijuana illicit substances and illicit drug dependence, all for citizens between the ages of 18 and 25.

The number of drug-induced deaths in the state is higher than the national average, with McDowell County ranking as having the fifth highest rate of drug poisoning deaths in the country.

Marijuana Laws

In West Virginia, the possession of any amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor, with a prison sentence of between 90 days and six months. The maximum fine associated with possession is $1,000.

The sale or distribution of any amount of marijuana is considered a felony, with a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum jail term of five years, with a maximum fine of $15,000. This includes possession with intent to distribute.


Abbreviated as HIDTA, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program defines and targets areas of states that are especially prone to drug abuse and drug trafficking.

West Virginia counties in the HIDTA program include Boone, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Wayne, Cabell, Lincoln, Mason, Mercer, and Putnam counties.

Employment Drug Testing

Under West Virginia law, employment drug testing is legal so long as employees or applicants are given advance notice, and the tests are administered randomly. However, the governor of West Virginia recently gave an executive order that mandates the passing of a drug test in order to seek state-funded job training.

This requires a test throughout 10 different categories of drugs, and if the test comes back positive, the applicant will be denied training for no less than 90 days. All drug tests administered under this executive order will be paid by the state. Attempting to adulterate any drug screening test is considered a misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Anti-Drug Media And Drug-Free Communities Campaigns

West Virginia has funneled state funding into its anti-drug media campaigns. Specifically targeted toward youth, these campaigns seek to perpetuate valid, credible messages that inform the public on the risks and dangers of drug abuse.

These try to persuade youth to reject the use of illegal substances, and encourage “Above the Influence” activities. The Drug-Free Communities program tries to mobilize at risk communities by helping to develop strategies to prevent drug abuse and dependence in youth.

Rehab Options

Fortunately, there are a number of free or reduced cost rehabilitation options in West Virginia. Types of free rehab clinics in the state include vocational rehab centers (which receive funding from clients who work for the program and typically are affiliated with a religious group), state funded rehab centers (whose funding comes directly from the state and county governments), and donation based rehab centers (which obtain their funding from individually or organizationally donated funds).

West Virginia suffers from high rates of drug trafficking, drug-related deaths, and drug dependency. However, it has been launching effective drug control programs, including several free drug rehab options.

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