The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

November 23, 2012

Advocacy group aims to educate public

A group advocating the legal use of marijuana to ease the suffering of cancer victims and others mired in severe pain has been active in West Virginia for more than a year now.

Formed in August 2011, WV-NORML is a state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

On its website, the group says its mission is to educate West Virginians about the benefits of using marijuana for medical purposes and “the relative safety” of smoking pot for recreation.

A spokesman for the state chapter says the original founders have gone their separate ways, leaving behind “a small core group of dedicated professionals” seeking to bring about change in state drug laws.

According to the WV-NORML, the most active place for the group to communicate is on the social network Facebook.

“We regularly post informative articles from mainstream sources around the Web,” the spokesman said.

The national organization’s website points to surveys showing that 10 percent of all Americans have used pot within the past year.

“The vast majority of marijuana smokers are good citizens who work hard, raise families, pay taxes, and contribute in a positive way to their communities,” the group said.

“They are certainly not part of the crime problem in this country and it is terribly unfair to treat them as criminals.”

Within the past decade, more than 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana-related offenses, and some 90 percent entailed usage, not trafficking.

As for its addictive propensity, the group says marijuana becomes habitual among fewer than one in 10, but 15 percent of alcohol users and 32 percent of all smokers get hooked.

Delegate Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor, who plans a second effort next winter to legalize marijuana for medical usage only, says he could win more support, but many fear a backlash from voters in their district.

The WV-NORML spokesman agreed with that assessment.

“...the sad truth is that many people who avoid being active in reforming cannabis laws fear some sort of reprisals and at the very least some loss of respect from peers,” he said.

“This is a situation that needs to change and we are hoping that educational efforts will help them to hasten that process.”

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Video: Meat market

    The price of beef has everyone in a stew these days, and it doesn’t stop with the “what’s for dinner” protein. Prices of pork and chicken are on the rise, as well.

    April 17, 2014

  • Child care in state lacking in quality

    Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Still alive, TWV’S 54th season is all ‘Hatfields and McCoys’

    Although the schedule is a bit different than originally planned, Theatre West Virginia Act II is officially alive, with 17 scheduled showings of “Hatfields and McCoys.”
    The curtain will rise for its 54th season on July 11, and Manager Scott Hill said these 17 shows will be produced with the same quality theater patrons have come to know and love over the years.

    April 17, 2014

  • jobfair Spring Job Fair: 400 job seekers meet 22 employers

    More than 400 people came looking for a new job Wednesday at The Register-Herald’s Spring Job Fair at the Tamarack Conference Center.
    This year there were 22 area employers in attendance which gave potential hires more options in many different fields.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Train derailment reported in Mercer County

    The derailment occurred in the Rock area of Mercer County, according to Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman.

    April 16, 2014

  • Report: High-quality child care lacking in state

    Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rahall raises $324k in WVa’s 3rd; Jenkins, $194k

    Democrat U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall raised almost $324,000 last quarter for his contested re-election bid, while GOP challenger Evan Jenkins banked about $193,500.

    April 16, 2014

  • State regional jails ban touching during visits

    Concerns about drug contraband have prompted a ban on regional jail inmates touching loved ones during supervised contact visits.

    April 16, 2014

  • Renew W.Va. car registration online

    State residents strapped for time got a break Tuesday when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Acting Division of Motor Vehicles Director Steve Dale announced new DMV online options for renewing vehicle registration.

    April 16, 2014

  • Manchin says mines should speak out about coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014