Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

Retired Kentucky Trooper Ed Shemelya told members of the Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Wednesday that medical marijuana would be bad for kids.

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Legalizing medical marijuana is a hot topic all across the country and one that’s already gone before the legislature here in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Alliance for Drug Endangered Children tackled the issue Wednesday during its quarterly meeting at the State Police Academy in Institute.

Andrea Darr, the coordinator of the program, said it’s important for members of the group, which includes law enforcement, prosecutors, social workers, school counselors and others, to understand the what’s happening.

“Marijuana is an issue! It’s a problem! People think it’s just marijuana. It’s not a big deal. But it’s a drug. It impacts a parent’s ability to take care of their children,” stressed Darr.

She brought in guest speaker, Ed Shemelya, with the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area or HIDTA. He’s a 30-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, the last 8-years dealing with drugs.

He told the Alliance that legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes is a dangerous proposition.

“I don’t want to give this perception to young people that marijuana, in its crude form, is medicine. I think we’re sending a horrible message to our kids,” according to Shemelya.

He said the FDA is currently working on finding the medicinal properties within the marijuana plant and then creating prescription medication of those compounds.

He said calling marijuana in it’s raw form “medicinal” is inaccurate. He used aspirin as an example.

“Compounds within aspirin come from the bark of a willow tree. I don’t think anyone advocates going and finding willow bark, crushing it, rolling it and smoking it to get the medicinal value to relieve a headache.”

Shemelya is urging members of the Alliance to look at the figures. He pointed to the 18 marijuana compassion states where pot is recognized by the law.

“What we do know is that teen usage rates [of marijuana] in these states, exceeds the national average,” according to Shemelya.

He said at this point the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana in West Virginia.

It’s a topic that could go before the 2014 Legislative Session which begins in less than a month.

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  • Buzz Watson

    That's some funny statements since there have been 2 count 'em 2, university studies proving a link between cannabis oil and cancer remission in the last two years (Harvard and The University of Spain-Salamanca)...try to keep up useful idiot.

  • Eric

    News flash! Teenagers use it anyways. All your laws do is make them criminals. Way to ruin someone's life..and for what? Smoking a plant? Idiots!

  • Eric

    It should be illegal to state bold face lies in order to dupe the masses. Wait, that's what got us into this mess in the first place. Weed is bad but the pills the doctors shove down your throat are just fine. Lies lies lies!

  • glen

    Statistics show underage use is down in legal states. MJ does not affect the ability to care for children, those people were like that sober. Catching a buzz at the end of the day does not put your child at risk. Yes lets take a perfectly safe plant and extract what we need, make it into an addictive pill and have a bigger prescription problem. I would hope hes not serious about the willow tree. Really? of course you dont smoke a willow tree, thats not going to help your ailment nor does it have the same effects of aspirin if you did. Locking people up in this great state for using a useful plant in their struggles is plain ignorant. Follow science, learn the truth, Let the people vote!

  • Kay Lee

    Before you spread any more misinformation, you really should read this pdf file:

    "Using data from the national and state Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and the Treatment Episode Data Set, we estimate the relationship between medical marijuana laws and marijuana use. Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that
    legalization leads to increase in use of marijuana by teenager"

  • J the C

    Shemalya is a shamuck.

  • Larry

    Marijuana kills brain cells and makes you progressively dumber.

    • Eric

      Umm who told you that? This is 100% false and science has proven it to be false over 25 years ago. Care to continue with the lies?

    • glen

      MJ itself does not kill brain cells. Holding your breath does.

  • hill billy

    it's my guess when gov.tomblin cuts a deal like the one for his families exclusive grey hound dog business in the dispensary business medical marijuana will be a " BIG HIT " at the capitol .. just sayin

  • hill billy

    most people can't wrap their brain around the fact that the government has lied them into total ignorance. The uneducated can only spew and rant the same tired old rhetoric...anyone with internet can see the truth. US Patent 6,630,507US The patent lists the use of certain cannabinoids found within the cannabis sativa plant as useful in certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and HIV dementia.

    • glen

      If there was a like button, I'd click it

    • Conchop

      Very well said ...

  • Conchop

    Well - Its obvious contemporary science is in total disagreement with what has been presented in this meeting. Darr and Shemelya have presented an argument that is completely in err, out of step with current results in the FREE STATES, and which are laughable at best.

    The truth of the matter is in what they refer to as "objective" studies. There is nothing objective at all in this shameful "Dog and Pony" show. Truly objective studies clearly show the medical efficacy of cannabis. Truly objective studies show the dreadful failures and costs associated with their position in this so called "War on Drugs".

    Who in their right minds could possibly accept this display of "Reefer Madness" propaganda as objective? Billions of dollars have been spent, thousands of people have gone to jail and had their lives ruined, their property seized, and their children taken away by people like this.

    Truth is, if you look closely at how these people make their money, you'll see the Government gives them millions of dollars in treatment subsidies for their businesses and their respective law enforcement constabularies get the proceeds from all the property they seize. This is a racket.

    The results this wretched cannabis prohibition has produced will go down in history as a crime against humanity. Cannabis has been used by mankind for thousands of years and it will continue to be used by man for thousands of years into the future.

    This so called "Alliance" has just done the people of West Virginia a huge disservice. They have obviously failed to competently study their science. Its a real shame that this kind of malfeasance can pass as "credible" and "professional" as it is nothing less than hogwash.

    Do yourself a favor and spend time researching the results for yourself. I'm quite sure you'll find that your taxpayer dollars just got flushed with this meeting.

    Follow the money and consider the source.

  • BossIlluminati

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    20 years behind us, sad and scary...not surprised though, nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody


    • Conchop

      Now that science has proven how good a remedy marijuana really is, this so called war on drugs looks just like a war on good American people. Turn around is fair play ...

  • Roswell

    Please try to convince me that this crook Shemelya isn't a paid propagandist. Darr and all of the other idiots in the room are too stupid or brainwashed to realize what really threatens their kids: Physical/sexual abuse, bullying, poverty, depression, and vehicle accidents. Pot is way, way down the list and would actually help with the depression.

    • Conchop

      BULLSEYE ...

  • Earthmother

    These people are simply stupid and I wonder who is paying them. I can't believe there are still people out there with this thought process. If they have worked extensively with drug issues then they would KNOW that marijuana is more benign than just about anything. and YES, a lot of people would go out and gather willow bark to use as an alternative to asprin. What rock do these people live under???

    • Conchop

      Follow the money and see exactly who it is that just paid them - it was you and me and every other taxpayer. Just like everything else in this cannabis prohibition, its been a huge waste of our treasury, resources, and humanity.

      This whole event shows exactly what's wrong with our Government ...

  • Yuppie Hippie

    I am dealing quite a lot with "piloticians"....But this is beating everything.......

    The way how this trooper is standing there, is telling me, that he knows he is lying......
    And the "admirers" worshipping him - thats the reason why he's telling them lies !
    This guy is begging for admirers .....
    Thats what he is living for....
    "Retired Kentucky Trooper" - he was being "admired" being a trooper - now he needs "replacement"

    He should see his doc first and take his hourly PROZAC......
    He should have the guts, to visit me . I will inform him - also that I did cure my own stage 3 cancer... And I am NOT the only one ;)

    Ofcourse MMJ is dangerous - it's even VERY dangerous for the greedy pharma-industry....

  • John Wires

    To my fellow WV residents who support using nature and have a religious backround there is another solution. It is called the first amendment and bypasses state and federal laws. I am a member of a church who is exempt from these draconian laws. While the states and federal government sort out the crap from people who want to keep it illegal claim your rights now.. Join this religious organization and tell the police and prosecutors you no longer need their permission to do what god intended.

    • Conchop

      Cannabis is called KENNEH BOSUN in some translations of the Bible ...