Pubdate: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 Source: Skagit Valley Herald (WA) Author: Nora C. Callahan Initiative 685: Don't distort the text On Sept. 8 you printed a letter from Florence Logsdon Anderson, who supported the medicalization of marijuana but concluded that Initiative 685 would legalize heroin and cocaine. This is not true -- it would medicalize them. Heroin for the terminally ill has proven to be a better pain-management medication. It is used broadly by physicians in Europe. My own father died of cancer. He suffered horrible nightmares under the effects of morphine. He jerked and cried out; and it traumatized us all. Methadone was available, but after weeks of morphine he had to be weaned off carefully and introduced to methadone. By that time he was comatose and convulsing. Then he died. It is tragic that our country does not leave drug prescription to our physicians. After watching my father die with effects of morphine, I will vote yes on Initiative 685. If heroin had been available to my father, his last days would have been lucid and calm. Anderson would do well to think rationally herself and not distort the text of this beneficial initiative. Nora Callahan Colville, WA Directly next to this Letter to the Editor is a cartoon of a Dr. handing a prescription for marijuana to a patient. The words in the balloon caption he says is: ...and I'd recommend listening to Grateful Dead or Clapton.