Pubdate: Wed, 24 Mar 1999
Date: 03/24/1999
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Author: Leland R. Berger

I write concerning the Institute of Medicine's report on medical
marijuana and Rep. Kevin Mannix's proposal to amend the Oregon Medical
Marijuana Act (Ballot Measure 67).

During the initiative election campaign, opponents argued that
marijuana was a gateway drug and that it had no medicinal value. The
Institute of Medicine report effectively debunks both these myths. The
argument raised during the campaign that the Medical Marijuana Act has
loopholes that need a legislative fix is also misplaced.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act is a carefully crafted statute. If
implementation problems actually arise, they can be handled
legislatively in the next session. No need currently exists to amend
the act other than to further the agenda of those who opposed its passage.

Instead of trying to subvert the will of the people (and risk another
costly referendum), what our Legislature ought do is to pass House
Joint Memorial 10, which advises Congress that our Legislature
believes that marijuana has medicinal value and thus ought to be
removed from the list of Schedule I (no medically accepted use)
Controlled Substances.

Leland R. Berger,
Northeast Portland