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Locals weigh pros and cons of medical marijuana


The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — As the bill to legalize medical marijuana makes its way through the House, area residents have conflicting views on the possibility of seeing it become law.

W. Fred Wilson of Philippi believes that medical marijuana has a real possibility to help others.

“It can be used for cancer and good purposes, not drugs,” Wilson said.

Some residents think that marijuana should be legal because of how certain conditions respond to the drug. Good Hope’s Jessica Ice is one of those proponents.

“I think it should be legal because there are certain conditions that have been proved to only respond to the medical marijuana drops,” Ice said. “So prescriptions don’t work as well as the drops. For example, people who have like 40 seizures a day, it can cut it down to two, if that. So it’s better for them overall, compared to them taking so many drugs and not being helped.”

Fairmont’s Bryan Schultz said medical marijuana can also help those with Parkinson’s disease.

“I definitely think it should be legalized for the uses it has,” Schulte said.

Crystal Wimer is originally from Keyser, but she lives in Clarksburg now. She said she thinks medical marijuana could be used to improve the lives of many, including her mother.

“My mother has had multiple sclerosis since she was 16 years old; she is now 61 years old,” Wimer said. “And a lot of the muscle relaxers you can get through your doctor weren’t helping with spasm-related problems, and she’s in a lot of pain, so that might medically be an option for her, if it were legal.”

Clarksburg’s Mikaela Diaz thinks there’s no reason marijuana shouldn’t be legalized in the state if the drug were used for medical purposes.

“If it has medical benefits, why not? Why constrict it? If it’s beneficial and saves people’s lives or makes their lives more livable, why not?” Diaz said. “Especially as a nursing student, I feel it’s like not giving painkillers to someone who just had major surgery. It makes their lives easier, so why let them suffer?”

However, other residents worry that the bill will lead to residents using medical marijuana for an alternative purpose, such as Joseph Solburg from Grafton.

“I oppose the current bill in the House because although it specifies low THC cannabis, I don’t believe it specifies it as low enough. The benefits that medical cannabis can have are offered by CBT, which has an inverse relationship to THC. So the lower the THC, the better it’s for you,” Solburg said. “So what’s fascinating about that is, it’s the THC that gets you high, and in medical marijuana states, folks that go to medical marijuana dispensaries, eight times out of 10, will pick a high THC over what is actually healthy, which is a low THC, which leads me to believe that medical marijuana is a scam. It’s not about getting healthy; it’s about getting high.”

Solburg believes legalizing medical marijuana is just a stepping stone to legalizing recreational marijuana use.

“I think that medical marijuana is a way to use children and sick people as a political pawn to try and get recreational marijuana legalized down the road,” Solburg said. “And I think it’s absolutely deplorable people are willing to use children and sick people that way.”

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