The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 27, 2013

Medical marijuana use bill gets first-ever hearing

CHARLESTON — Fear is not a justifiable reason to avoid controversy under the Capitol dome, says House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, and mindful of that, he is giving the public a chance to speak on the medical use of marijuana.

Come Thursday afternoon, Perdue is opening the House chamber to a one-hour public hearing on a long-running bill, authored initially by Delegate Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor.

For three sessions now, Manypenny has sought to legalize the use of marijuana to alleviate pain, and the first two times to the plate, he stood in the batter’s box alone.

Now, he has a number of co-sponsors, including two Republicans — Ray Canterbury of Greenbrier County and Larry Kump of Berkeley County.

“Part of the problem we have in the legislative process is fear tends to keep us from doing things that over a long period tend to be very productive,” Perdue, D-Wayne, said Tuesday.

“You can’t simply allow fear to be the thing that you make all your judgments by. There has to be some reasoned expression of conflict, and we haven’t seen that reasoned expression of conflict.”

Manypenny has advised Perdue that upwards of 100 people have asked to have time allotted to speak on the bill in the public hearing.

This is the first time a House committee has agreed to take a look at Manypenny’s legislation.

“It’s becoming evident to me that there’s more and more talk, a lot of discussion, a lot of hubris out there, about it,” Perdue said. “So I felt like it was a really good idea. Let’s gauge the sense of the public about that bill. We’ve never done that.”

From the public hearing, Perdue said he wants to “try to draw where the interest levels lie and whether or not it’s something that can be passed.”

Perdue said he hopes to get a number of questions answered.

“Where are the issues?” he said. “Who are the opponents? Why are they the opponents? This is one of those things where it’s in very formative stages in West Virginia, in this session, so there’s no time like now. Let’s discuss it in a very meaningful way.”

Perdue said the state needs to deal with substance issues across all venues in West Virginia.

“This is just sort of an expression of that,” he added.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • State DHHR workers to picket over large caseloads

    West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees are picketing outside the agency's Fayette County office to raise awareness over what they call large, unmanageable caseloads.

    July 29, 2014

  • Arch Coal posts bigger 2Q loss

    Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer's latest earnings surpass analysts' expectations.


    July 29, 2014

  • Tunnel.jpg Tunnel traffic to be restricted to one lane for repairs

    Highway crews are planning to do additional repairs Tuesday night and Wednesday night inside of the East River Mountain. As a result, traffic inside of the tunnel will be limited to one lane in both directions, according to Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Earl.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meth lab bust nets two Raleigh residents

    An anonymous phone call about two children in danger led authorities to a meth lab bust and the arrests of two Raleigh County residents Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress closes in on benefits for veterans

    On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.

    July 29, 2014

  • Voters to decide on youth nonprofit tax status

    Legislation passed late in the session in March will put one issue on the November ballot for voters — whether Boy Scouts’ Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve will be able to rent its property and facilities to other organizations, and not pay property taxes on its 10,600 acres in Fayette County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge denies continuance; murder trial to begin Aug. 5

    The trial of a 24-year-old man accused of the first-degree murder of his stepfather will go on as scheduled, after a judge denied a defense motion Monday for a continuance.

    July 29, 2014

  • Litter can endanger public health

    Cleaning up Wyoming County remains an ongoing priority, according to County Commissioner Silas Mullins.

    July 29, 2014

  • tex Legends

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thief smashes AccessHealth Daniels' clinic's door

    July 28, 2014