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Wv Delegate To Introduce Bill To Allow Use Of Medical Marijuana

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The Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States and is responsible for most state-level marijuana policy reforms since the year 2000.

Nearly 20 states have laws that legalize the use of medical marijuana and West Virginia could be next.

It seems like more and more people fill our jails on charges of possession of marijuana and intent to deliver.

"You can get up to one thousand dollars a plant, worth of marijuana off one plant," said Ralph Wright, Marion County Chief Deputy.

In some states, the drug can also be used for positive reasons.

"What I read that they use it for is for those cancer patients or some other conditions where they are experiencing pain or an inability to eat," said David Meyer, Fairmont General Hospital Clinical Pharmacist.

West Virginia is not one of the states that allows medical use of marijuana, for now.

"Of all the states that have passed medical marijuana legislation, the substance abuse in those states have gone down," said Delegate Mike Manypenny, (D) Taylor County.

Delegate Manypenny is introducing a bill that would allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana without the fear of being arrested.

"There are about nine different diseases that medical marijuana can be used effectively for," he said. "The most specific is for cancer patients that are going through chemotherapy."

A Public Policy Polling survey shows West Virginia voters support medical marijuana 53-percent to 40-percent.

"The new poll that just came out shows that 53 percent of West Virginians support to give a doctor permission to prescribe medical marijuana," Delegate Manypenny said.

If the bill passes, hospitals still have to decide if they even want it at their institutions.

"There would be committees looking at it and to evaluate is it something that is needed here at this institution based on the patients we serve, would it be beneficial or not, and how to handle that," Meyer said.

Delegate Manypenny plans to introduce the bill in this year's legislative session in Charleston.

He introduced a bill like this last year, but it didn't go very far.

The bill will say anyone prescribed medical marijuana will have to provide a lot of information.

Anyone found with marijuana would have to present a card to police to verify that.

For more information on the Marijuana Policy Project, visit its website.


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