The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 26, 2013

Medical marijuana bill to receive 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: mannix@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Jury trial set in Bob Graham case

    Robert E. “Bob” Graham, the former executive director of the Wyoming County Council on Aging and All-Care Home and Community Services Inc., will be back in U.S. District Court in Bluefield this October for a trial to recover consequential damages for aggravation and inconvenience from National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., the insurance company that provided him coverage when he served as director of the two agencies.

    July 25, 2014

  • Calendar — Friday, July 25, 2014

    July 25, 2014

  • Kids drama camp dips into the acting bug

    Some kids growled and grumbled. Others complained about the stories they heard. A few wore pig noses. Grandpa nearly fell asleep.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sewage treatment plant project clears another hurdle

    Ronceverte’s planned construction of a new sewage treatment plant cleared another regulatory hurdle with the expiration Wednesday of a 20-day waiting period at the state Public Service Commission.

    July 25, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg keeping eye on gas spill

    Mayor John Manchester said Tuesday night it was in the city’s best interest that officials proceed with caution to reports of a diesel spill farther up the Greenbrier River because “we wouldn’t want to run into an Elk River challenge here."

    July 24, 2014

  • NCCC team brings its skills to work in Hinton

    William Custus, 20, of Washington, and Sabree Koonce, 21, of Leavenworth, Kan., have spent the summer making West Virginia beautiful.

    July 24, 2014

  • Cyclist injured in accident

    A cyclist was injured on a trail near the Gauley River when she fell from her bike to avoid a tree branch.

    July 24, 2014