CHARLESTON, W.Va. – One member of the West Virginia House of Delegates will try for a fourth time to get the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana.

Taylor County Democrat Mike Manypenny was the sole sponsor of a bill legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes for two session. Last year he had a few lawmakers on his side. He said he’s heading into the 2014 Legislative session with 18-20 other delegates ready to sign on to the bill.

Manypenny wants to open the dialog.

“There’s been studies all over the world. One of the most recent ones came from the University of Madrid, in Spain, which actually shows there’s promise for using cannabis, which has the potential for killing cancer cells,” according to the delegate.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia already allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Manypenny said it’s time for West Virginia to follow suit.

“We do need to do a lot more research,” said Manypenny. “But in the meantime, there are a lot of people out there that are suffering with a lot of different diseases that I believe could be treated with this rather than using a pharmaceutical that has 20 different side effects.”

Opponents of the bill say legalizing medical marijuana will open the door to potentially deadly consequences including more addiction, overdoses and child endangerment. Law enforcement and several children’s advocacy groups across the state have already come out against the legalization of marijuana.

Manypenny stressed West Virginians have been using medicinal plants for hundreds of years to help those in pain.

“A lot of people still utilize roots and herbs for medicine across the state and a lot of them are very effective.”

Manypenny said golden seal, yellow root and gin sing are just a few examples.

However, even he isn’t convinced that the leadership of the House will give a legalized medical marijuana bill a chance this session.

“I’m hopeful but I don’t know, this being an election year,” he explained.

The 2014 Legislative session kicks off January 8.

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  • your mom

    There is no question that if marijuana were any other drug, decisions about its medical use would be up to doctors and patients. Instead, today, the politics of the drug war intervene. Patients and doctors who get involved with medical marijuana face potentially grave risks. And government seems committed to maximizing the fear and uncertainty faced by those who might benefit using it.

    It need not be this way. Scientific and medical texts going back thousands of years point to medicinal properties for marijuana. Modern scientific studies, including six sponsored by U.S. states in the 1970s and 1980s, demonstrate that smoked marijuana reduces nausea and reduces pain for many patients, especially those facing cancer chemotherapy and glaucoma.

    More to the point, thousands of patients and their families and doctors have experienced and witnessed the medical benefits of marijuana. They have told others. They have testified at public hearings and appeared in the mass media. They have contributed to books and research studies on the drug. The phenomenon is real.

    Those who say the evidence is not yet good enough miss the point. The evidence is clearly good enough to make two declarations now: 1) decisions about marijuana for medical use belong in the hands of doctors and patients, and 2) there is no reason at all to subject medical patients who use marijuana for legitimate medical purposes to the risk of arrest, jail, fines, and public embarrassment.

    Conclusion: Because current laws deprives doctors and patients of this freedom, and classify patients as criminals, all such laws should be changed.

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  • Vicky Davis

    Mr. Manypenny please face book me or pm me did this law get passed or not? i know alot of people are moving out of W.Va to get cured by hemp oil and are going to states that are legal for them , so they can get better, Iam a friend also of Mr. Ron Fergail

  • Vicky Davis

    I wrote to Mr. Manypenny back in 2008 2009, also Del; Ron Fergail in Clarsburg W,va iAM GLAD THEY ARE DOING THEIR JOB , WE NEED THIS LAW PASSED, MY MOTHER WHO DIED OF LUNG CANCER 1996, IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW ON HEMP OIL CURING ANY CANCER ANY STAGE I WOULD OF GAVE IT TO HER, SHE COULD OF STILL BEEN HERE TODAY; I RESEARCHED WHAT IS IN CHEMO, I CAME UP WITH MUSTARD GAS, THEY USED THIS BACK IN WORLD WAR 2 AS BIO WAR FARE, IT BURNS THEM INSIDE OUT, IT DOES NOT CURE CANCER AT ALL, I RESEARCHED RICK SIMPSON FOR YEARS, AND THE HEMP OIL DOES CURE, I RESEARCHED ALSO MANY COLLAGES ALL OVER THE WORLD; THE REASON THEY THE GOVERMENT DONT WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE THIS IS THEY CAN NOT PUT A PATIENT ON IT AND MAKE MONEY, CAUSE ANYONE CAN GROW THIS, IAM A CHRISTIAN I ALSO KNOW IN THE BIBLE IT IS GODS HERB PLANT BEARING SEED THAT CURES AND HEALS, NOT TO SMOKE IT TO GET HIGH, IF PEOPLE WOULD RESEARCH LIKE I HAVE ON ALL THIS , SEE CANCER IS A BIG TIME MONEY FOR DOCTORS AND HOSIPTALS, IF PEOPLE ARE CURED AND CAN CURE THEM SELVES WE WOULDNT NEED THEM AT ALL, SO THEY DONT MAKE MONEY AND BIG PHARMA DONT EITHER, CANCER IS A KILLER AND THERE IS A CURE, MAKE IT LEGAL OR SET BACB AND WATCH PEOPLE DIE A MISERABLE DEATH AND LET THE SO CALLED PRACTICING DOCTORS MAKE THEIR MONEY, CAUSE THEY ARE HOLDING BACK THE REAL CURE,

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  • morgan

    i seen that an overdose was mentioned, this is almost physically impossible because it takes your body weight of marijauna to be consumed in less than an hour. or if you weigh 150 lbs. you would have to consume 150 lbs. of the substance in less than an hour to overdose. You would probably passout after an ounce or two. That being said can you overdose?

  • Person that wants weed legalized

    All the government are selfish assholes we pay taxes and give our hard earned dollars to them there are millions suffering like my cousin that died from cancer idc if marijuana was not going to cure him i just wish it was legal so he could get some pain relief while he was still here he suffered the last year of his life imagine that people from the legislative branch got cancer or your loved ones I think if you were in his position you would vote yes to legalizing marijuana and stop making such a big deal about kids smokin pot because they will always do it anyway there will always be a neighborhood dealer that don't ask for ID marijuana can't hurt you we as Americans have right to speech and religion well I'm a Christian and its in the bible that god created heaven and earth and gave us our herb for our meat by not legalizing this you are going against my religion and that's wrong there are millions suffering and pharmasuticals are not helping them just draining their pockets sure there are people who just want to get stoned but there are more that need medical marijuana than stoners i also suffer from chronic neck and back pain from a carwreck when I was younger I have no relief because I don't want to get hooked on pills and doped up by pharmacys I think the government makes enough can't they just let the people have this one I'm tired of waiting on this bill to pass legalize marijuana for West Virginia please u would help a lot of people and government will still make a killing off of it

  • Roman

    If people would rather eat or burn a plant .. Instead of doing drugs that a person can not even drive or function on why not get real with oxidation and morphin being handed out and the new scare that the patient will sell come on .. Let's get on the same page and let people like my dad choose what makes it easy to live!!!!

  • Jerry Shrader

    I believe the state should bypass medical and fully legalize. With the coal market down so far the state needs a new source of income and looking at how much government spends chasing this plant as an illegal substance it's wasting way too much funding from taxpayers especially with our economy so far in the hole. We need a solid form of income and if marijuana can pull jobs into our state i say legalize fully!

  • willynilly

    As a life long resident and as someone employed in the Criminal Justice field I think legalization is the best option. Those in the state dying from drug use are not overdosing on pot. The time, money and jail beds wasted on marijuana are crazy. Prohibition is not working.

  • Jared Massie

    Pot should be recreational here in West Virginia. Many people think it's wrong or bad for you if you smoke pot. Really its just a stress and or something to make you feel better. Like you just hurt yourself, or you can't eat don't have the urge to. Pot is there for a reason to calm or help the human senses. Everyone needs to stop criticizing people who smoke weed like calling them "stoners". Do what the people want make pot LEGAL!!