Eighteen states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana and now West Virginia representatives are talking about possibly legalizing it here too.

Taylor County Delegate Mike Manypenny introduced H.B. 2230, formally known as the Compassionate Medical Marijuana Use Act of 2013, in hopes that patients with qualifying medical conditions could obtain the marijuana.

The bill would allow patients with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommended it.

On Thursday, the House Health and Human Resources Committee led a public hearing where West Virginia patients and advocates joined in on the conversation regarding the bill.

Kanawha County resident Terry Lively struggles with MS and she said medical marijuana has allowed her to control her symptoms and be a successful member of society.

“I produced over twenty training films, two years of a monthly cable access show, four documentaries, edited an award winning book, ran my own company, served three years as president of another arts organization while keeping up with a husband and son,” said Lively. “All the while smoking medical marijuana.”

Lively told committee members it is getting increasingly getting to acquire marijuana and urged lawmakers to pass the bill.

Kanawha County resident Chris Yeager addressed the committee on behalf of his brother who lost his life due to prescription drug abuse, or specifically opiate. He believes marijuana could have provided a better outcome.

“It’s been medically proven that medical cannabis will help wean people off of opiate addictions,” said Yeager.

Under the current bill, patients would be limited to six ounces or privately growing up to 12 plants in their homes.

Dr. Paul Clancy is a ER Doctor in Charleston and he told the committee he has seen maybe four cases dealing with marijuana problems.

“I see a lot of substance abuse at work of all flavors, alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, illegal drugs,” said Dr. Clancy. “What I don’t see a lot of is marijuana problems.”

Dr. Clancy said marijuana is safer than a lot of other prescription drugs, has less harmful side effects and can divert a lot of prescription drug abuse.

If the bill was to get passed, it would initially establish five tightly regulated centers across the state in order to provide patients with safe and reliable access to medical marijuana.

The bill currently sits in the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

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Comments

  • gtown

    As for the pa medical professional you should know that marijuana doesn't cause cancer. So I say your entire statement is null n void. Your a joke to the profession. Have you done studies on marijuana. Habe actually done lab tests. No you havent. And it will be legal in your state before wv. So I guess your need to write narcotics for pain with soon come to an end and I hope your shitty practice goes under. But then again youll find some other poor slum hooked on pills to write a script too. You and the people you write em are the nations problem.

  • gtown

    First off marijuana has been scientifically proven there is no cancer associated with its use. And I have used marijuana for years and I get up for work everyday. I work 5 days a week. And haven't missed a day since christ left saint Louis. So if your gonna get on here and bad mouth something maybe you should do your research before you get on here and look like the close minded fool you are. And as far as the pa medical prefessional

  • PA

    As a medical professional, I see few indications for the use of medicinal marijuana. That would be problem number one, to specify very clearly who is indicated and who is not. Also, I personally feel that if we were to legalize marijuana, our welfare/unemployment/disability problem would grow exponentially. It is pretty difficult for most people to work while under the influence of any psych altering drug, including alcohol, prescription and illegal drugs. How could we expect someone who is high on marijuana to actually be a productive part of society? And yes, there are several patients who work while taking prescription narcotics or benzodiazepines, but those folks are few and far between. The majority of patients of chronic narcotic or benzo use, are also on disability. So now we will be making a society who is high, lazy, overweight (or most likely obese), can't contribute to our society, and we will be paying for them!

    • PA

      And while I'm here, I may as well mention that tobacco should be completely banned as well. I have patients who complain and question about taking a prescribed chemical drug for improving their heart, that could have side effects. But they have no problem inhaling every carcinogen and toxin known to man!!! But as some have mentioned before, tobacco will never be banned because the government makes way too much money off of it.

      • John Wires

        How can you see any cases if MED MJ when you are in a state that has NO MED MJ? Your entire statement is a fabrication. The AMERICAN CANCER INSTITUTE (btw is a government organization) has came out and admitted that cannabis can treat cancer into remission. Also the American Nurses Association abdicates the use of cannabis for medical treatment. . The funniest thing is if the readers are smart enough here they will research what I have said and see you are completely nothing but a prohibitionist pretending to be a medical professional. Look up the double blind study done by the University of California on Cannabis and Lung cancer. You will find out there is NO CONNECTION.

    • Mike G

      I'm not from WV nor care what the citizens think decide. The ONLY reason I'm commenting is because of PA's last comment. I'm 31 and when I was 13 I was diagnosed with anxiety. I was prescribed a number of drugs Paxil to start and so on. At about 15 a friend got me to smoke marijuana. Shortly after , within 2 weeks I was no longer taking anti anxiety mes and was back to a mental state pre parents divorce. I have went on to graduate with a masters from a top university. I am a sales professional in the medical field earning nearly 100k a year. Still smoking marijuana 4,5,6 times a day. I would consider myself a productive member of society. Thinking you can generalize/stereotype all marijuana users is ignorant and closed minded. Lets keep in mind we're talking about a plant that grows naturally. Which if you don't already understand is far safer than Alcohal, OxyContin or countless other drugs my words are lost on you. I thought we lived in America, land of the free.

  • HMAALLTHEWAY

    This is in jest my friends.

    If we legalize it for all uses there is a way for the state to get those highway funds they need. We can do billboards that say things like: "Tax the Weed fix a road indeed" "Sell the pot to fix a Pothole"
    "Get high for highways", "Want it smoother? smoke a duber" " smoke a dry joint so we can fix an expansion joint", "wanna drive long? fire up the bong" "Grow weed on the ridges so we can build more bridges"

    I think it will work !!! LOL

  • Charleston,WV

    You're opening a pandora's box of issues down the line. I find it fascinating that we spend a lot of time, money, and effort to combat substance abuse in our state and country, and then we decide to "cut off our nose despite our face". I am sure you could produce a placebo effect to certain individuals who are terminally ill to help with there pain and hunger needs. There has to be another way.

    • Grant

      We have spent countless millions of dollars, hours, and many lives trying to stop it, which obviously hasn't worked, so what about a different approach?

      Besides, we are taking about MEDICINAL purposes. If there is SCIENTIFIC evidence that does help in certain instances, then why should this even be a political decision?

      • thornton

        "Besides, we are taking about MEDICINAL purposes. If there is SCIENTIFIC evidence that does help in certain instances, then why should this even be a political decision?"

        Because expecting attitudes and, especially, personal justification toward marijuana use to remain "medical" implies one is lighting up pre-approval.
        Docs can overprescribe and misprescribe drugs now if incentive trumps the Oath....that is unlikely to change and, quite simply, more folks will gateway marijuana.

        "Looking down the road" is wise...this state has refused to do that exact thing too often to it's and it's citizen's loss.
        Let's wisely take a gander at what can occur in a world less than perfect.

        • RTW

          You obviously haven't done any of your own research. Instead you regurgitate the same old government
          propaganda about MJ being addictive,
          or a gateway drug. Please go to youtube and find out for yourself what
          many of the medical professionals say. I think it will blow your tiny brain to bits.

  • Grant

    Didn't say it was for everyone and every medicine has side effects. If your doctor and you believe the benefits out weigh the risk, then why should I stop you?

    If it helps a terminally ill cancer patient regain their appetite and deal with the nausea caused by chemo, then why worry about a cancer that it could cause ten years or more down the road?

  • Charleston,WV

    So we are educated to make tobacco this harmful substance for years, and now we want to legalize another substance just to generate money for our government? My, we continue to sink to new lows. When does the madness end?

    • Grant

      What part of regulated and medicinal is hard to understand? Tobacco is none of those with exception of an age restriction.

      • Charleston,WV

        So by your logic it's okay for to inhale a carcinogen when the medical community says it okay to in response to lessening someone's opiate addiction?

        • Charleston,WV

          or death bed. Seriously? By your logic then we all need marijauna when we die. Where is this path going to lead next. Seriously.

          • Charleston,WV

            Grant:Have you heard of the term "pill mill" ?

          • Grant

            Then punish the doctors who over prescribe like they are in theory doing with narcotic pain meds.. What is the difference?

  • jethro

    i have no problem with the legitimate use of so called medical marijuana , with history of prescription abuse i just think it opens pandoras box

    • Grant

      Then, we should outlaw sudefed, oxycontin, and all narcotic prescription drugs that people need to live or improve their quality of life

      • jethro

        if i had my way i would , all it does is create addicts and ruins peoples lives
        narcotics have no use in managing chronic pain. once you start narcotics you never get off of them , you build up tolerance and the doses get higher and higher. narcotics were intended for short term pain relief and end of life care , not chronic pain

        • Grant

          So we should punish the terminally ill cancer patient or severely injured by taking away their effective pain meds to punish the drug abusers who will just find a new way to get high. Yes, makes sense to me.

  • jethro

    go ahead and legalize it , then when your 12 year old comes home stoned out of his or her mind you can rationalize it. marijuana leads to
    harder drugs and lack of motivation. thats ok if you want your kids to grow up and live in your basement for the rest of their lives

    • Mike

      Does your 12 year old come home with a can of beer? Bottle of whiskey? There are risks to everything, I do think the benefits far outweigh the negative.

      • Charleston,WV

        Mike: Do the benefits of the patient supercede that of the public in this instance?

    • RLS

      Who is your 12 year old hanging out with? Shouldn't a 12 year old know right from wrong? Sounds like parenting, Aww crap we gotta talk to our kids again.

      • jethro

        you obviously have had no teenage children to deal with and are probably sitting on your couch smokin a fatty

        • johnnieboy

          you Obviously need to come to reality and quit living in wonderland jethro. So your kids coming in strung out on drugs? sounds to me like they are. if you cant control them then it is bad parenting. Me I have raised 3 boys and all turned out great

    • Meriquitecontrary

      I think it should be legalized for medical purposes. I am a breast cancer survivor being diagnosed with Stage four and smoked it during treatments. It was ALOT better than the medications my Dr. prescribed me. I am now cancer free and I personally weighed the risks of smoking marijuana against the medications prescribed that could cause liver, kidney, and other damages. I hope it gets approved. Instead of taking hard core pain pills I felt better smoking marijuana. Yes, I am employed and pay taxes and am not on disability. I would be on disability if I had taken pain pills because I would have been addicted after using them for 18 months.

    • jeff

      Jethro if it were legalized people would not have to go to drug dealers that sell more than just pot therefore someone would not be enticed to try something else. I regularly use marijuana and do not live in the basement of my parents house. So open your eyes and see all of the benefits and revenue that is being lost do to ignorance.

    • think about it

      The children in clarksburg wv,are allready smoking pot at 12 so whats the difference,there doing that and pills and everything else,and why prob, cause the parents are drunks, addicts,the homelife is to blame for children doing drugs,so just punish the sick who need the pot instead of the immoral ignorant not paying attention parents.

  • BigEEERfull

    Comparing medical marijuana to prescription drugs or alcohol is a joke. There are ZERO instances where someone overdoses and dies from smoking too much pot. Can that be said about Rx drugs or alcohol? Everyone that is posting here is correct, it's all about the lost tax $$$ and big pharm companies not being able to line politicians pockets with cash provided by lobbyists. I say take it one step further...make it 100% legal for everyone. The results (to name a few)would be lower prison populations, lower crime rates, money spent on finding and destroying pot crops could be spent on preventing other violent crimes, reduction in illegal immigration incidents (if we already have it, there is no need to smuggle it in) and finally everyone would be less stressed and in a way happier mood. Good job Del. Manypenny, you would surely get my vote next election.

    • RLS

      Two thumbs up!

    • GregG

      I agree 100% BigEEERfull!!!!

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      I totally agree!!! Make it legal for everyone. Be done with it.

      • Denver

        As a person currently taking a prescription due to a loss of hand causing serious back problems and if something that i can grow in my garden just like my corn and tomatoes. why not? but as well put by big eeeeeers the politicos of this nation have no interest in the lives of the people paying their wages. well done monypenny your persistance to this bill gives me new hope in our government. again good job

    • mineral county

      thank you!!!! someone that is realistic and not shallow..coffee causes more side effects than this plant

    • STICKYVOICE

      Right on my brother thank you!!!!

  • thornton

    The Doc believes, I reckon, that marijuana does not provide a pathway for many with varying weaknesses.
    If so then he should state that....not simply what hits the sad end in his ER.
    I would guess that most understand that an ER sees the finish of a race more than the start.

    Med marijuana will soon find more growers abusing the system and more of them adopting the title...medical service personel. Competition will bloom and suddenly diuscovered medical needs will lead the way to back hollow prosperity...of a degree.

    Personally, I don't care overmuch on the issue other than for the pathway I mentioned. But, one day a loved one of mine may be walking along whistling a tune when an out-of-control person speeding down that pathway of dependency will put my innocent loved one in that ER.

    Be nice to think the med marijauana issue will stay narrow and clean and point directed...but I seriously doubt it.

    • Ronin

      "Med marijuana will soon find more growers abusing the system..."

      How will they do that when they have to be licensed and inspected? How will they abuse the system? If black market dealers ar eliminated by the newly-freed efforts and resources of police departments, where will these hypothetical abusive growers sell their product?

      "...and more of them adopting the title...medical service (personnel)."

      If they pass the required certifications and are providing medicine for sick people, why shouldn't they be called medical service personnel? Budweiser calls itself a beer maker, Republicans call themselves the Government of the People, and Liberals refer to themselves as the Democratic Party. There are plenty of bigger lies... why are you so obsessed about something you profess to care nothing about?

      "Competition will bloom and suddenly discovered medical needs will lead the way to back hollow prosperity...of a degree."

      So do you oppose competition, capitalism, medical research, or prosperity outside the city limits?

      There is no pathway. Addictive people will find something to become addicted to, like online judgment or Assassin's Creed or Oprah, and abusive people will abuse, peanut butter, chocolate, caffeine, pornography, religion... all more dangerous than cannabis. Legalization in Colorado and Washington has reduced teen abuse of not only cannabis but adult abuse of alcohol and pills.

      And your 'loved one" is FAR more likely, in the state that leads the nation in overdose deaths, to be run down by someone with a completely legal bottle of alcohol or prescription pills in their possession, than a stoner driving 24 in a 45 mph zone. Studies have shown that drivers under the influence of cannabis are far more careful than drunks or pillheads.

  • Mad Max

    I don't see the problem of having medical marijuana available to people who need pain medication or have other cronic conditions where it could help them. It would be a lot less evil than the opiates and some of the other things that are currently prescribed. I think that big pharmacy has no way to produce and control it is the big hold back right now. Also look at the revenue that they would lose from the currently produced drugs. O well, one mans opinion. Let your true feelings and common sense be your guide.

  • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

    I don't smoke it and probably never will. But I feel it is time approve this bill and then move on the de-criminalizing marijuana (10 grams or less) as well. I agree with other posters. The capitalists are running around crazy right now gathering marketing and other business research data so they can find their profit niche. That's the hold up. It's benefits far out weigh the negatives. There are some pretty intelligent and professional capacity advocates supporting this bill. Time to make it happen.

    • Tommy

      I agree with u 120% !!!! It's time to serve the people what they want in Thai country that is NOT bad for them but actually helps in a medical stand point. I've smoked it to take away my back pain. Works better than any narcotic

  • Big Johnny

    While I agree that medical marijuana can/will help those that use it responsibly; what is to stop it from becoming another prescription drug that is abused in our state? Oxycodone helps those that use it responsibly but the illegal use of it has really put a black eye on it. The article says it will be "strongly" regulated in 5 centers...well oxycodone is a much more dangerous drug and we see how well it is being regulated (sarcasm). All regulations do is keep honest people honest. The criminal (or in this case) will always find ways around the law.

    • Grant

      With this logic, we should outlaw sudefed, oxycontin, and all narcotic prescription drugs that people need to live or improve their quality of life.

      • Charleston,WV

        You do understand that when smoking marijuana you are inhaling a carcinogen, right?

        • mineral county

          soo exactly which cancer causing carcinogen property is it Charleston? where's the data on this?

        • jerry

          most of us do know that ! thats why those who can afford a vaporizer own one...none of the carcinogens!

          • jerry

            oh yeah!....lets not forget what all the pills do to your internal organs! eating away peoples stomachs..liver problems...anyways the list can go on much longer..taking one pill just to counter the others side effects?eat some marijuana! it works!

        • anon

          That is why the aiding substances can eatin or vaporized.

    • Anita

      Have you ever heard of someone dying from weed overdose ,not on my end.

  • Grant

    I don't understand the arguments against it. If it is controlled by a doctor and has a medical benefit beyond other substances, then why not legalize it? How is it different than the already legal prescription drugs that can be abused?

    • Scott

      because they haven't figured how they will make there money from it.

    • GregG

      "How is it different than the already legal prescription drugs that can be abused?"......Well Grant, it is "different" because Big Pharma, Doctors and hospitals can't make billions off it. Just think of the financial impact it would have on them if a patient could grow their prescription in their backyard. Like always, it all comes down to money. And taking money out of the pockets of Big Business is a big NO-NO.

      • trav

        yeah, but it can be taxed and the government love to tax the crap out of everything. so it has a fighting chance...

    • jethro

      you think its bad the way prescription narcotics are sold on the black market, just wait till prescripition marijuana comes on the scene.