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.