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Supporters Of Marijuana Legalization Rally In Huntington

Reported: Jan. 4, 2014 6:21 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 4, 2014 6:49 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Dan Matics) -- Marijuana is now legally being sold in Colorado, bringing the debate over the drug to a head across the nation.

A few people rallied Sunday in Huntington, demanding it be legalized, at least in medical form, in West Virginia.

Power in numbers may have not been on their side, but that doesn't mean the people rallying for medical marijuana legislation weren't passionate.

For the past two days, they have been set up in front of the Cabell County Courthouse, holding signs and raising awareness in hopes medical marijuana will become legal in West Virginia.

David Tayman, of Huntington, said he is a hemophiliac and needs frequent blood transfusions, one of which is blamed for giving him hepatitis C.

Tayman said, at times, he's in a lot of pain, and can't take over the counter pain relievers because they thin his blood.

He wants to ease pain without prescription pills

"Doctors have prescribed me pain pills,” he said. “But I know how addicting they are, especially in this area. I’d like to see a safer alternative.

Medical marijuana bills have been drafted in the state legislature in previous years, but have never been successful.

Del. Tim Armstead of Kanawha County, who leads the House’s Republican minority, said he has been against the proposed legislation.

"I don’t think it’s the right route to go," Armstead said.

He believes legalizing cannabis for medical purposes opens the door to recreational purposes, as seen in other states.

"It is a drug,” Armstead said. “It’s subject to drug abuse, so I think it’s an issue of whether we want to go down that road. I think the majority of West Virginians are against that."

Del. Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor, was successful in getting a hearing on medical marijuana during interim sessions this summer.

But such legislation has had a history of failing in the past, and many lawmakers don't think it has a chance again this year.



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