Pubdate: Tue, 26 Oct 2004
Source: Great Falls Tribune (MT)
Copyright: 2004 Great Falls Tribune
Source: Great Falls Tribune (MT)
Author: Richard Bayer
Cited: Initiative 148 ( )
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


I was a chief petitioner for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act passed
in 1998. Since then more than 10,000 patients have been qualified for
the act by 1,400 doctors. Polling last month showed 83 percent of
Oregonians support the program in Oregon. Our program has more than $1
million in surplus cash so has not cost taxpayers one dime.

Many patients benefit from the medical use of marijuana. There are
many controlled trials showing effectiveness of medical marijuana.
Physicians would prescribe marijuana if it were legal to do so, but
the federal government has refused to reschedule marijuana to allow
prescribing thus making state laws essential to protect patients.

Marinol or synthetic THC can help some but is available only as a
pill. For patients unable to keep down pills, it is useless. Patients
need alternatives to Marinol when it or other medicines fail or cause
adverse effects.

Montana's I-148 is about the rights of suffering and dying patients.
The examination room is for treating patients and should not serve as
the battlefield for the war on drugs.

I-148 is a moderate proposal that asks voters to end the risk of state
criminal penalties faced by patients in a sensible, regulated way,
brokering a peace of sorts while science continues its

 From a neighbor who has had a successful medical marijuana law for
almost six years, we say if marijuana helps patients, then they should
have access to it. Please vote yes on I-148.

Dr. Richard Bayer, Portland, Ore. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake