|The Weed Blog|
According to Manypenny, the Bible itself proves that God intended that man use marijuana for medical reasons, and he thinks his fellow members in the House of Delegates realize this, reports Mannix Porterfield of the Beckley Register-Herald.
HB 4498, new bill Del. Manypenny introduced to the chamber on Friday, would allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
When some constituents asked him a few years ago to sponsor the bill, "I thought, 'They're crazy,' " said Manypenny, a Democrat from Taylor County.
|West Virginia Legislature|
|Del. Mike Manypenny: "I would try it"|
But then he began to view a number of documentaries on the medical marijuana movement. "It's just running rampant across the country," he said.
After examining volumes of articles in publications from Fortune magazine to Time and Newsweek, "It started to fascinate me," he said. "I wanted to know more about it. I'm a herbalist."
Manypenny said he personally doesn't use cannabis for either medicinal or recreational purposes, but wouldn't be averse to trying it to relieve the constant pain of nine damaged discs in his back.
"I would try it," he said. "I don't know how effective it would be, due to the extreme condition my back is in."
Conventional medical treatment for his pain costs him about $750 a month, Manypenny said. Others are paying even more for relief from Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other conditions.
"It is not a simple issue, but it is growing more popular especially with the research going on," Manypenny said.
The delegate said he saw a clue in the very first book of the Bible, in which Genesis says God created "the herb yielding seed." (Gen. 1:29, King James Version)
For many patients who aren't able to afford expensive painkillers, Manypenny said marijuana could be a cheaper alternative.
"It gives them an opportunity to use a natural plant that the good Lord put on earth for mankind to use," he said. "The Lord put this plant on the earth for man to use. It's a plant, and an herb, and it has seeds."
|West Coast Fiya|
Manypenny's bill calls on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to formulate rules to strictly control marijuana's medical use.
"No matter what you do, I think, there's always going to be abuse, no matter what the drug is," he said realistically.
Doctors would have to recommend marijuana and patients could use access cards, possibly in conjunction with the Division of Motor Vehicles, Manypenny said.
Limits would control quantities, such as a maximum of six plants grown at home, or two ounces, or the amount one could get at a compassionate use center.
For those skeptical about the Lord's intentions in putting marijuana on earth, Manypenny said research has shown that the human body contains cannabinoid receptors attuned to the active ingredient in cannabis.
"Isn't that kind of an odd thing?" he asked while sitting at his House desk after a floor session. "It's like a lock and key."
Manypenny said he saw hypocrisy on there part of the federal government.
"If they can take an extract from a plant and put it in a pill to be produced by a pharmaceutical company, how can they talk out one side of their mouth and say it has no medical use and the other side partner with and give exclusive rights to produce it by a pharmaceutical company out of another country that is already producing it?" he asked.
Manypenny plans to make his case for medical marijuana in Monday's floor session of the House of Delegates. He realistically doesn't expect a wave of support; his is the only name on the bill.
"Maybe half of the members have an interest in the bill," he said. "But because it's an election year, they don't feel comfortable with it."
West Virginia residents are urged to contact your legislators and ask them to consider the evidence in support of H.B. 4498. The more legislators hear from people like you, the more comfortable they are likely to feel speaking and voting in favor, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
MPP is working with allies to organize a big push in support of H.B. 4998, and they need your help. If you are supportive and are a medical professional, a seriously ill patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, a law enforcement official, a clergy member, or a member of the legal community, or you know someone else who is, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can be of special help. Please include your address or nine-digit ZIP code so MPP can help you identify your elected officials.