An effort to get the ball rolling in WV has stalled. Several hundred e-mails and at least two dozen telephone calls bombarded Delegate Mike Manypenny after he offered a bill in this session to decriminalize marijuana for medical purposes. Most interestingly, all of the missives lent support to his cause. Trouble was, no one else in the Legislature offered any sympathy, much less support, for his controversial bill. As time expired in the 2012 session, his bill was still collecting dust in the House Judiciary Committee. “I’m not surprised it didn’t come up,” Manypenny said, while sitting in the foyer of the Senate chamber, awaiting last-minute action on bills.
“You can’t run from an issue just because it’s an election year. I think that’s one of the problems in politics. People don’t like to take up controversial issues in election years, but if it has merit, it should be put on the agenda and voted on.” Amen, brother.
Of all the feedback that came after his bill was outlined, reports The Register-Herald, not one response was in opposition, Manypenny said. “Most of the people that called me had esophageal cancer, or MS, or some other ailment that this could treat,” he said. Manypenny suffers no illusions that marijuana, if legalized for medical reasons, would be employed solely for that purpose. “You’re going to find people who are going to abuse it,” he said. “Just like the prescription medicines.” Probably true, but that could have been addressed by the legislature. Maybe next year, when there’s not an election. For a fuller report visit The Register Herald.
Meanwhile, In NJ, a mmj patient from California is going to attempt to use his Cali status as a mmj patient as a defense in a state without medical marijuana access. To challenge possession charges, a former Fair Haven man will say, and prove, he is a California resident who has a prescription for medical marijuana to relieve post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Eric G. Hafner, 20, was scheduled to be in Municipal Court Monday morning, but the case was postponed until March 27. Hafner faces criminal drug charges stemming from a November traffic stop when the car in which he was a passenger was pulled over. Cars are not a good place to medicate.
That postponement is a good sign, as Hafner is trying to educate the local NJ prosecutor. His scheduled hearing Monday before a Municipal Court Judge was postponed after the prosecutor asked for a delay because legal documents explaining the medical marijuana claims had not been exchanged between him and Hafner. With NJ discussing mmj lately, this makes sense. Hafner was joined outside Municipal Court Monday morning by seven sign-toting medical marijuana advocates in a show of support . There is more at the Asbury Park Press.
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