Pubdate: Wed, Mar 24 1999
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 1999 The Oregonian
Contact:  1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Author: Leland R. Berger, Northeast Portland


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.

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