Delegate Mike Manypenny (D -Taylor) has recently introduced House Bill 3251, The Compassionate Use of Marijuana Act, which allows for the use of marijuana as a medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. West Virginia would be the 16th state (and the District of Columbia) to legalize marijuana for medical use in some form or another. These states have found that the law is used as intended and has not led to significant increases in recreational and adolescent use.
In other states that have allowed patients access to medical marijuana there has been an increase in state tax revenue that could benefit education and drug abuse prevention and treatment. There has also been a notable decrease in crime. Most would agree that no one should be arrested for needing a medicine. Yet, otherwise law-abiding patients can be arrested and serve hefty sentences in just such a situation.
Oftentimes, marijuana is the only treatment form that corrects all of the symptoms of some diseases without any adverse side effects. Marijuana treats: nausea, vomiting, unintentional weight loss, insomnia, spasticity, neurogenic pain, movement disorder, asthma, glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, HIV/AIDS, bipolar disorder, depression, and epilepsy. Marijuana has also recently been found to reduce the size and to reduce the size and even eliminate certain types of brain cancers.
Recently, the largest association of doctors of internal medicine and the second largest medical association in the country, the American College of Physicians, released a policy paper in support of medical cannabis, stating, "The ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws."
It is time for West Virginia to stand up and stop the yearly arrests of thousands of medical marijuana users each year.
It is time to demand progress and help lead the national push for medical marijuana reform.
I urge you all to call your state representatives in support of House Bill 3251.