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Officials, West Virginians Discuss Legalization of Medical Marijuana

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CLARKSBURG -

North Central West Virginia Democracy for America sponsored a public forum on Tuesday about medical marijuana and some of the benefits.

"I'm hoping this meeting tonight will help clear up some of the misconception people perceive as what's going on with the legalization of marijuana, this isn't the legalization of marijuana. It's letting doctors prescribe marijuana as medicine to chronically ill patients across the state," said Delegate Mike Manypenny of Taylor County.

Manypenny introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana into the House of Delegates three years ago. Since then he has continued to work to make that happen.

"The first year, it got very little traction, the second year a little bit more, and this year it's got a lot of traction. This is the process of educating the legislature about the benefits and hazards of implementing something like this. We hope the benefits outweigh the hazards," explained Manypenny.

The benefits of medical marijuana were discussed at the public forum held at the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg.

Representative from different organizations talked about both medical and economical benefits.

"Cannabis legalization is going to provide millions of dollars of business opportunities. We're looking at putting in thousands of acres of hemp production. We're looking at thousands of jobs," said Don Smith, CEO of Greenview Group Ltd.

Manypenny said the medical benefits of medicinal marijuana could help people with many different ailments.

"It could help with cancer, multiple sclerosis, post traumatic stress disorder, pain, things like Chrones Disease and other chronic ailments," Manypenny explained.

We posted a question on WBOY's Facebook page to find out public opinions on the legalization of medical marijuana. To join the conversation click here.