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Group works to legalize medical marijuana

Updated: Friday, January 24 2014, 09:45 PM EST

By:Crissy Clutter and NEWS9

WHEELING, W.Va.--

A bill to legalize marijuana was introduced Thursday in West Virginia.


House Bill 4264 would allow people with debilitating medical conditions to possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana to treat their symptoms.

Aaron Moses is the founder of Mountaineers for Marijuana. The group is talking to lawmakers and urging them to support the proposed law.

“We're trying to get to where if a doctor feels a patient is not getting relief from the prescriptions pills, or thinks marijuana would work better, he would have the power to recommend it,” said Moses.

Moses says he's had a good response talking with local lawmakers, but knows this is an uphill battle.

“The only real obstacle I could see was that it's an election year and a lot of people are scared they won't be re-elected if they support this issue,” said Moses.

Opponents of medical marijuana say the drug has a high potential for abuse. Moses says states that have legalized the drug have actually had a drop in drug abuse.

“Let patients have the option to use marijuana instead of pharmaceutical pain pills that have plagued our state,” said Moses.

“Marijuana is much safer and much less addictive,” added Moses.

He says many of the people he's met on his journey to legalize the drug need it to survive. Those people are battling illness, he said.

“If you have cancer and you can't eat it gives you the appetite,” Moses said. “It curbs seizures for people with epilepsy.”

The bill also covers medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, hepatitis C, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, depression and anxiety.

He says many people have misconceptions about the drug.

"Marijuana is rarely smoked when used for medical reasons," said Moses. "It can be vaporized, given in an oil, ingested."

Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

This is the fourth time West Virginia state Delegate Mike Manypenny (D-Taylor County) has introduced the bill.

Group works to legalize medical marijuana


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