CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia lawmakers are beginning to gather the facts on the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana. A legislative interim committee heard a pair of presentations Wednesday at the state capitol.

Marijuana Policy Project Legislative Analyst Matt Simon told a group of delegates and senators that 20 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana in various forms. Simon said some states allow residents to grow their own plants but in other states, like Colorado, for-profit dispensaries handle the distribution.

In some states smoking the marijuana is permitted, while in others it is eaten.

“So patients say they are able to titrate their doses much more effectively if they’re able to inhale it. But many patients do prefer the edibles, particularly if you have severe pain and you want to sleep through the night a brownie a couple of hours before dinner may help people,” Simon said.

Lawmakers asked questions about how the legalization has impacted marijuana use by teens and if impaired driving statistics increase. Simon said the research numbers are good in most cases.

Del. Margaret Staggers, D-Fayette, said the federal government has already recognized medical marijuana works but the debate comes down to how it should be delivered.

“The facts are already there, this is a good drug,” Staggers said. “Certainly people can abuse it but they abuse things like oxygen and water too.”

Simon said there have been a lot of improvements in medical marijuana laws since California took it up years ago. He said states have learned what to include and not to include. Simon supports even more states legalizing it.

“Those are some of the really tragic cases in my opinion, patients who have to move to another state just to try a plant that would work for them,” he said.

A medical marijuana bill, just like in recent years, will be introduced again in the next regular legislative session.

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Comments

  • hmmm

    You can tell who's the low life stoners in here. Aw by the way I just got off work I don't have the liberty to be arguing about how bad I want some pot like a looser at 1 in the afternoone on a wed. Really sad

    • MTNR

      Apparently you don't have a job that requires you to know how to spell.

    • bebea

      There's more employed working potheads than you know. Most all POT HEADS are fully functional and reliable employees. Its the abusive PILL HEADS that are the ones unemployed and stealing to support their addiction. I fully support Pro Marijuana .

    • jessy420

      You can tell who the low life a@#holes are as well!!! Not everyone that uses marijuana is a "stoner" smoking it increases creativity and helps with concentration!! Maybe you should quit being so closed minded and have a toke and calm down!! I agree with MTNR!! I know stoners who could out spell you for sure!!! LOL!!! Spelling marijuana is much harder than afternoon!!

  • Think

    For those of you how think that everybody that could use this is a BUM living off the System could not be more wrong. A lot of people who Smoke are very productive members of the Community. I for have a lot of pain everyday and do take Medication for it. I would bet you that I work a job that pays alot better than yours and I work everyday. It is is a pity that people can be so narrow minded that they think this. Proven fact more people Drank during Prohibition than did after. Back when I was a youth I was never I D not even once by the guy selling, it was harded to get a pack of Cigarettes than a bag of Weed. It is harded to get Sudafed than it is to get Weed. Right now if somebody wants weed they can get it with no problem and there is no Taxes on it. It is time that they stop spending all of this Money trying to stop it, at which they are VERY unsuccessful at. You can get weed when ever you want it. They take one Dealer down and three people are waiting to take his place. Before you speak think about what you are saying are stop with the "everybody who smokes it are BUM'S living off of the System" speech. Give it a break and get down offf of your soap box, we have heard enough already

    • Robert

      If you're going to pretend to be a stoner you need to try a little "harded" !!!

  • Mike

    Bottom line is the government can't find a way to tax it or they would legalize it. The other problems are in law enforcement. If they legalize it how many government agencies will have to lay people off. We cannot have that.
    I don't smoke it but damn sure have been around a lot of people who do. I have never once seen any of them want to steal from there parents or start trouble like you get with meth, pain pills and drunks. 2 of which are legal. You can legally get pain pills and drink all you want.

  • Corky

    Eating candy made with marijuana butter or oil from marijuana is a safe & effective way to medicate.
    Let the lawmakers do there job,that's why they called in the professionals to tell them how it's done.

  • 2XLPatriot

    Fact: The government can't regulate it therefore, they can't tax or control it.

    Fact: Marijuana does help cancer patients and others with TERMINAL ilnesses such as cancer, MS and some others. It does not need to be prescribed to fibromyalgia, depression,anxiety or chronic pain pill poppers as an alternative for tax payers to foot the bill.

    Fact: I would much rather deal with 20 pot smokers than 1 A**hole drunk who wants to fight everyone in the room.

    Fact: Man made beer, God made weed. Who do you trust?

    Lastly, I do not advocate the use for "recreational purposes". Dealing with lifes little problems should not require an altered mental state.

    • Matt

      Fact 1 is wrong.......look at Tabacoo.

      Just saying.......

    • Habib Haddad

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McF7ImZH7WY

      Who says anyone needs pot to deal with life's little problems? I encourage recreational use for the very same reasons you postulated, 2XLPatriot. Better a pot head than a drunk.

    • jessy420

      If they are allowed to grow their own the tax payers are not footing the bill for anything!! Most people I know would rather grow their own, that way they know it has not been sprayed with a pesticide or laced with a harder drug!!!

    • Larry

      You're right, and there are also a lot of doctors and other health experts that don't believe it has the medicinal effects that the cutoffs, flip-flops, and pony tail crowd claim it does.

      • exsoldier

        Larry what doctors are those? You should check into harvards study on canabis by their doctors i would take their word 4 it since they are known to teach the smarest doctors...everyone knows harved is the best academic college in the world

    • Rebecca Gavin

      What do you have against people with Fibromyalgia? Why shouldn't anyone who's life has been turned upside down by chronic pain have access to anything that is safe and will help them?

    • J the C

      Last fact...WRONG!

  • exsoldier

    Also if we gave up 6% of our farm land to grow hemp it would produce enough fuel for our countrys electric and automotive fuel for a whole year which would be creating thousands of jobs the pros out weigh the cons in this case by a lot

    • INFORMED

      I think you could have just blown peoples minds but they probably don't believe you.

  • exsoldier

    Really what does the fact that we are trying to get medical marijuana for sick patients have anything to do with our welfare system get a new line dude u cant use that for everything...each marijuana plant can be used over 25,000 different ways not just for medicine before you people trash talk this bill y not study marijuana a little you will find out interesting things about it like when our country was first founded it was illeagel if you didnt grow hemp and things like.hemp fiber iz the strongest natural fiber in the world do some research and then you can post a educated response

    • Charleston,WV

      You've watched "Up in Smoke" one too many times.

      • Hooooah304

        It seems as though you are the one who has seen to many stoner films and have never read a medical journal

        • exsoldier

          I couldnt agree more hooah304

        • Charleston,WV

          Oh really. According to NIH smoke from tobacco and cannabis contains many of the same carcinogens and tumor promoters. Did I miss something?

          • Charleston,WV

            Do you need a reference or do you think I'm blowing smoke up your @$$?

          • lifetimehunter

            Do your homework almost all research on this also says the results are inconclusive. For every one study that says pot causes cancer without a doubt, I can find five that says no real proof.

          • cynara

            Yes, you did miss something. Look up the new research that tends to disprove that marijuana is a cause of lung cancer.

          • FunUnderTheRadar

            I guess tobacco is OK, since it's controlled by big corporate greed!

    • DonaldH

      study marijuana you say?,, Oh boy did I ever study marijuana--- all the way through jr high and high school into college for about a semester and a half--- I'm glad none of my children study it like I did.....

      • exsoldier

        You didnt study it you smoked it thats 2 different things i dont smoke or use it in anyway but im not so ignorant that i dont realize all the benefits from it and how it can help the sick and our economy

        • DonaldH

          And any ignorant fool can see the end game here by most of these advocates of Medical Marijuana-- RECREATIONAL USE!!!

          • exsoldier

            Wow we are trying for medical marijuana for sick people..... not recreational use....well its a good thing some of you dont run our state or we would never move forward

    • INFORMED

      Well Said!

  • rdt

    Job security for politicians, only propagating future problems. So, what else is new?

  • longbeards

    Dont smoke it, but I sure think it is a crime to waste the money to lock people up that do,,just my 2 cents worth...

  • mauldawg

    That's all we need now,free MJ for all the BHO freeloaders. Might as well let them have free dope,they get everything else for free. All these dope heads will find some scum doctor to write them a slip for the dope and real working WV's will pay that bill also. I guess if your to damn lazy to work or even look for a job staying home is the next best thing. This country is in such bad shape I doubt we can ever get it back to where it was. Thanks to BHO and all his left wing pukes this country is done as a world power. It wont be long before we look like the old USSR. Police on every street, prison for those that dare speak out. We have BHO and his left wingers to thank.

    • INFORMED

      Ok check this our dawg. I am a right wing Democrat...LOL yes, there is such a thing! I can't stand the guy you just spoke of or his job killing, working poor making poorer and middle class being shoved into the poverty level so called health care act. So we're on the same page so far right...

      The thing is this isn't a left wing right wing thing, its just an educate yourself about the real effects economical and social thing. Legalized, regulated medical marijuana will increase jobs and revenue for OUR State. The exact opposite of that so called health care act I just spoke of. BTW I'm a coal miner, I know what working hard means. BTW I don't use marijuana because I can't, because I choose to make a living for my family. Btw even if they make it medically leagal, I still couldn't use it because employers still have the right to say you can't. And back to all those dopies on walfare you were talking about...now true most are, I totally agree! And most of those people are actually on pills and meth, I mean read the papers. Some of those on benefits actually do need them but most around here are dopeheads that abuse the system and I don't know what you do for a living but when I work underground after going to college and walk on my knees half the time facing always at least some danger on a daily basis it really makes me mad to think how our system is being ran....but this makes sense. Look Most of us can agree we are generally NOT happy with our government at least on a federal level these days, but I think we can all agree we put some level of higher regaurd for our fore-fathers that founded this Country, and you can look this up, its fact and its wriiten down in the National Archives, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Both advocated cannabis and hemp for ones own use and for indutrial use... btw hemp fiber is one of the strongest natural fibers known to man and many composits can be made from it...a lot more then hippy neckleces! Believe that!!

  • Propot

    One of the active substances in marijuana (THC) has been available in oral form by prescription only for some time now (Marinol). You'd be hard pressed to find a marijuana user breaking into homes or blowing up homes to feed a meth addiction. Cannabis has been on this planet for a long time, and this medicinal plant has proven medical benefits. I'm sure Big Pharma is fighting it because a medicinal plant cannot be patented. Alcohol can be attributed to far more negative health consequences than marijuana.

    • Habib Haddad

      Amen, Propot. When have you EVER heard of a pot head breaking into a home or stealing to buy pot. NEVER. Pot heads give other pot heads pot and in return they return the favor. The craziest thing is prosecuting individuals for growing pot for their own use while you are allowed to distill up to 100 gallons of moonshine LEGALLY each year.

    • Charleston,WV

      So if they can extract the active substance or manufacture the compound then why should they legalize it again?
      BTW: THC has a very low solubility in water, but good solubility in most organic solvents, specifically lipids and alcohols.

  • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

    Legalize it for all. Stop wasting court and law enforcement time for something half as lethal as alcohol. Geez, somebody needs to wake up. I don't use it, but see no problem with personal use quantities. Just do it and save our taxpayer funds to pursue and prosecute real criminals!!!

    • FunUnderTheRadar

      WVirginian for Life. Glad to see someone else understands the big picture. You hit the nail on the head.

    • WVUfan

      Smartest comment on here.

  • Jason R.

    Ok, so let me get this straight...the legislature wants to make it very difficult to get allergy medication like Sudafed, but easy to get an illicit drug like Marijuana?

    • Marvelous304

      Sudafed is used to make METH which ruins lives, families, kills, mames, most addictive drug man made drug ever. How many people have died from Marijuana use...........exactly. Really illicit??

      • Larry

        I don't know any people who've died from it, but I have known people who became burnt out, dope heads from using it, it kills brain cells.

        • jessy420

          Keep drinking the kool-aid Larry!!! I have know people who have smoked for 20+ years and have more intelligent and valid arguments than you!!

          • Larry

            I will, cherry with a little extra sugar, by the way, it's known, not know, watch those cells.

          • INFORMED

            Jessy is right. In fact, Larry most of the people you would be talking about have done a lot more then smoked cannabis in their life. Of course you could say that this comment opens the debate of 'is it a gateway drug?' and I have asked this question myself at points in my life and considering myself and some others I have known and I have the answer. It's really not a gateway drug because there is no such thing...there are however gateway people which are the types of people in lots of cases that one may meet when they buy marijuana illeagally from dealers whom deal other illeagal drugs, or a shady group of friends who don't care that marijuana is a natural herb compared to other things they may do...those people are simply people who are looking to try anything and everything and have addictive personalities and actually need drug rehab, but when you legalize the one thing that makes sense and is completely natural and give it a safe and informative environment to be purchased, you get rid of most of the criminal element and shady people that none of us want our children to be around in the first place as they grow up. also, there will be at least an 18y/o age limit with Dr.'s recomendation. And as far as the others I have just spoke of. Under this bill. Profits generated from the application process will be put into a special fund by the state to help treat those with serious drug addictions. BTW I have read the law, which I'm guessing 99% of those reading all this blog haven't done befor reading this. And a minor can only aquire a rxcard for MMJ though the consent of their parents and the Dr. seeing that the minor has a serious need for this medication where other meds have failed or would be worse on their young bodies...such as many of the hard, and abused drugs that are man made and forced upon us by pharmasuitical companies.

        • FungoJoe

          So does watching PMSNBC. Can we outlaw that?

        • Artimus

          Physical Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

          In response to many negative claims against marijuana use, Morgan and Zimmer (1991) compiled existing literature and data into a single document in order to discredit what they felt were widespread myths about the drug.

          One of these myths was that marijuana damages brain cells, and that this damage causes memory loss, cognitive impairment, and learning difficulties. They report that this claim is based on a study by Heath et. al (1980), in which structural changes in several regions of the brain were found in two rhesus monkeys exposed to THC, the active chemical in marijuana. These changes occurred primarily in the hippocampus, the area of the brain known to play an important role in learning and memory, which suggested that exposure to THC in humans would yield similar negative results.

          However, according to Morgan and Zimmer, in order to achieve these damaging results, doses of up to 200 times the psychoactive dose in humans would have to be given. Even studies in which subjects were given 100 times the human dose failed to cause any structural impairment of the brain. Additionally, in a more recent study of rhesus monkeys by Slikker et. al (1992), in which the monkeys were exposed to the equivalent of 4-5 joints per day through face-mask inhalation for an entire year, seven months later there was no observed change in hippocampal structure, cell size, cell number, or synaptic configuration. As a result of these studies, Morgan and Zimmer concluded that the claim that marijuana causes physiological damage to brain cells is incorrect.

          Text Box: http://ccmnr.com/files/Brain_MRI_Sagittal.jpgA study by Block et. al (1999) yielded similar results, finding that “frequent marijuana use does not produce clinically apparent MRI abnormalities or detectable global or regional changes in brain tissue volumes of gray or white matter, or both combined”. However, the study notes that anatomical abnormalities could occur at a microscopic level that cannot be measured by an MRI, so the true results of the study remain somewhat unclear.

          Despite this, Morgan and Zimmer acknowledge that there is evidence that marijuana, especially in high doses, can interfere with users’ ability to transfer new information into long-term memory. Thus, although while under the influence of marijuana, learning is less efficient, there is no evidence that marijuana users suffer permanent structural impairment.

        • Trace

          Larry it assholes like you and captainQ who would have us beleive all this gov't bullsh!t about cannabis,(correct name FYI) your body creates new BLOOD CELLS so y would'nt it make BRAIN CELLS. Wake up America this is supposed to be a free country.

    • J the C

      It won't be illicit if legalized. End prohibition!!!!

  • Charleston,WV

    The facts are already there, this is a good drug,” Staggers said. “Certainly people can abuse it but they abuse things like oxygen and water too.”
    Case and point. Next question please.

  • CaptainQ

    There are actually some in the medical community (a very small minority) who claim that marijuana can CURE cancer though that hasn't been proven yet.

    We don't need 'medical' marijuana in WV. Look at how out of control medical marijuana is in California where there are doctors who, for a pay, will give practically anyone a 'license' to smoke weed. That's one problem the Mountain State doesn't need, we got enough problems here already.

    • Captain Q is a Weiner

      Always has to be the first one to comment.

      • DonaldH

        That's because he's not a stoner and can crawl out of bed before noon.

        • J the C

          I'm not a stoner, but I agree with Captain Q is a wiener.

    • jessy420

      So you think that doctors prescribing pain pills to just anyone is ok?!?!? There are more people around WV addicted to pain pills and meth than anything!! Look in the convictions or on the jail sites and view the reasons for incarceration, there are way more in trouble for meth labs, DUI and selling pain pills than possession of marijuana!! I would see it being more sensible to let people try to get off harder drugs with the help of a natural herb than something made chemically in a lab!! The side effects of marijuana are not long term as with pills and meth and it is impossible to overdose!! Quit your whining and go smoke a little!! People smoking pot are not going to bother, they are just head to the market to get snacks and drinks!!!

      • DonaldH

        I think that's the point

      • Jonathan Lipscomb

        If alcohol is legal weed should be free u can't die from withdraws like alcohol u can't kill someone on marijuana like alcohol God put marijuana on this earth for a reason to help us alcohol is made Nd it kills bit acceptable to society BC policy have grown up around it alcohol is one of the worst drug out there but its cool for it to be legal come on wv we r smarter than that make it legal Nd u make money green for green there is nothing wrong with something natural

    • FunUnderTheRadar

      Well, lets just spend more tax dollars to build more prisons & hire more guards. I guess that's the answer.

    • jd

      It will not pass because of all the money thay make taking ppl stuff and selling it if u go to jail for weed it is bs and thay need to be stoped

    • Jack

      You have got to be an absolute idiot. If you knew anything at all about wv, it's the fact that this state has a serious pill problem, and what would be the difference between our doctors giving out pills to every pill head, besides the fact that pills can actually become addictive, or cause actual damage or death. I'm not even a smoker, nor do I need medical cannabis. However I am educated, and if this could actually save people, or help them sleep at night what could it hurt? How would you feel about the subject if it was your spouse, daughter, son with cancer, and this was the only possible solution. The shoe would be on the other foot, and you would do anything for family. Atleast if you're a civil human being you would.

    • Manda123

      Because marijuana is SO dangerous, I mean really, it makes people happy and gives them the munchies. We don't need that here!

      It never should have been made illegal in the first place and no one should have to have a license to use a plant that has NO bad effects and countless positive ones. The only reason it's still illegal is because the legal drug trade wouldn't make nearly as much money if it were.

      People should be required to research the history of marijuana and the reasoning behind it being made illegal in the first place. It's quite interesting.