Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 2004
Source: Parkersburg Sentinel, The (WV)
Copyright: 2004, The Parkersburg Sentinel
Author: Dave Payne Sr.
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Parkersburg -- About a dozen people marched in downtown Parkersburg Saturday
carrying pro-medical-marijuana signs and chanting "The joy is not the point
- - it's the medicine."

The round-trip march from Point Park to the federal building on Juliana
Street was the culmination of the second annual Mountaineers for Medical
Cannabis Rally at Point Park Saturday. Speakers at the event discussed the
uses of medical marijuana and chastised politicians and pharmaceutical
companies they believe are standing in the way of legalizing the treatment.

About 20 people attended the rally, said Cindy Wimer, secretary of the
organization. More than 50 attended last year, she said.

"I think we were spoiled from last year. This year we had a problem getting
the word out," Wimer said.

The group supports legalizing marijuana for medical use and nothing else,
she said.

Supporters of medical marijuana say it is helpful for easing side effects of
cancer chemotherapy and alleviating a variety of other illnesses. The
substance is used in several countries for easing pain without the
addictiveness of legal painkillers such as morphine and oxycontin, Wimer

"We want to have a law in West Virginia to protect every patient that needs
medical cannabis," she said.

The Rev. Rob Randolph, of Fleming, Ohio, was among those attending. Randolph
said he was ordained by the Guiding Light Tabernacle two years ago and has
no regular congregation.

"I preach at home. I preach in the street. Years ago God asked me to quit
smoking (marijuana) when I got saved. I don't smoke it - I don't have a need
for it - but some people do need what it contains," he said.

Randolph said he does not condone recreational marijuana use, but does
advocate for it to be legalized for medical purposes.

"Overindulgence in anything is sinful, but God put beasts and plants on
earth and saw that it was all good. It is all for our purpose, whether you
eat it or drink it or whatever," Randolph said.

Last year's inaugural rally was originally planned at Bicentennial Plaza,
but was moved to Point Park because the family-oriented downtown Through the
Looking Glass promotion was to be held nearby at the same time.

Point Park is a good place for the rally and the organization plans to hold
it there the first Saturday in May each year, Wimer said.
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