Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jan 2014
Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV)
Copyright: 2014 Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Author: Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph


GREEN VALLEY - A proposal to allow the legal cultivation of medicinal
marijuana in West Virginia received mixed reviews Friday when area
residents voiced their opinions.

House Bill 2230, now before the West Virginia Legislature, would allow
the cultivation and use of medicinal marijuana. Introduced by Delegate
Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor, the bill has some support from fellow
legislators. Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, said a close relative
could have benefited from access to medicinal marijuana.

"That's a personal issue for me," Moore said. "My oldest sister died
of lupus. I know she was in constant pain, and the research I've been
able to do says it would sort of soothed their pain, ease her pain,
and allow her to function on a daily basis. She couldn't do the
normal, simple things everybody else does if she had an episode. If
she had an episode, she was rendered immobile."

Moore stressed that he was opposed to allowing the sale of marijuana
for recreational use.

"I am definitely against the legalization of the recreational use of
marijuana. I would support the medical use," he said.

The bill would allow the regulated cultivation of marijuana. Plants
could be grown in an "enclosed, locked facility" such as a greenhouse
or building that is "equipped with locks or other security devices
that permit access only by the cardholder allowed to cultivate the
plants or agents of a registered compassion center," according to the
bill's text.

According to the bill, a "qualified patient" who has been diagnosed
with a debilitating medical condition could use medicinal marijuana. A
patient can possess only six ounces of usable marijuana, 12 mature
marijuana plants and 12 seedlings if the patient doesn't have a
designated caregiver allowed under state law to cultivate marijuana.

Some people visiting the Mercer Mall on Friday had reservations about
allowing marijuana to be grown legally in the state.

"I basically don't like it," a 15-year-old Princeton girl said. "I
know a lot of people who had done it out in California and died from
overuse of it."

"Don't put my name down, but I'm all for it," said one local man who
worked for the state. State residents already have access to pain
medication that is fueling a statewide drug problem. "They'll pass out
200 oxycodone to an 18 year old. It's absurd."

One couple walking through the mall did not like the idea of
cultivating marijuana in the state.

"I don't like it at all," said Larry Lewis, 44, of

"It's a gateway for kids to get into other drugs," added Tonya Harman,
36, of Bluefield.

"It leads kids into other drugs," Lewis stated.
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