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Editorial: Marijuana bill takes heat from public

From the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington:

After the West Virginia legislature this week approved a bill allowing medical marijuana in the state starting in 2019, readers were asked this question related to the legislature’s action: “Do you approve of medical marijuana for West Virginia? If not, what are your concerns?”

Here are some comments they posted on The Herald-Dispatch’s Facebook page about the basic question and the bill that was approved:

“No concerns whatsoever,” responded Diana Shull.

“For terminally ill, for chemo patients to help with nausea, for kids and others with uncontrollable seizures? Yes! I do!” wrote Kathy Dawson Johnson.

“Not in its present form,” replied Jeff Smith.

“This bill wasn’t about medicine, it’s about money and friends,” wrote Destro Alnitak. “With the poor being unable to grow their own medicine, they still won’t be able to afford to pay a dispensary $250-$300 a month for meds so the state is sure to get their share in taxes, etc. Also with only 10 people authorized to grow in the state, and $55,000 in permit and application fees, u can bet those approved A. Will be wealthy, and B. Those chosen will be Uncle Governor’s niece, sister’s best friend, golf buddy. etc., etc. What a joke of a bill; this isn’t about medicine at all.”

“Will it be available to ALL whom are in need and not the just the privileged?” asked Connie Scragg Cook. “Every patient should have the availability to it.”

“Look what happened to the perfectly good opium poppy and valerian root,” said Pamela Beacham. “Do we really need the government to regulate and boost the potency what has been working perfectly fine for years? Legalize it for everyone and let the patient decide if they want a grow their OTC or seek medical advice and a prescription.”

“It’s barely a move forward,” commented Joshua Michalski. “No home grows, selling flowers and edibles is banned, very few dispensaries and growers approved statewide. I think it will be hard for patients to get strains that may work for them. The House Republicans who favored the amendments have shown their rhetoric about smaller government, liberty, and market driven economics is 100 percent fraudulent. They crave government control.”

“This bill is useless due to the Shott Amendment!!!” said Ashley Poff. “They had the opportunity to fix our budget crisis, relieve our overfilled prisons, and help a lot of people. They screwed it all up!!! Our Cabell Co. delegates need to be replaced; Kelli Sobonya and Matt Rohrbach need to go!!! We need delegates who represent OUR best interest!!!”

Look for more periodic questions in the print edition of The Herald-Dispatch as well as on the newspaper’s Facebook page. And readers are invited to offer comments on any of The Herald-Dispatch’s stories appearing online at

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