To the Editor:
I write regarding your editorial opposing Measure 33.
The need to expand the definition of attending physician to include naturopathic physicians and nurse practitioners derives from two facts. First, many patients don't have access to the program because their primary care physician is not an MD or a DO. Secondly, naturopaths and nurse practitioners, like MDs and DOs, are licensed to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances.
Why then is the News-Register opposed to making 'it even easier for patients to qualify for the program'? The alternative to having access to the program is being arrested and prosecuted for one's legitimate medicinal use. Is locking up sick people appropriate drug policy?
Further, your statement that the 'state already has problems with a few doctors' overlooks the fact that over 1400 MDs and DOs currently participate in the program.
The existing law has helped a lot of Oregonians (over 10,000) but it has left patients unable to qualify behind. Measure 33 corrects this problem.
Increasing plant and quantity limits, and allowing licensed and regulated dispensaries to distribute to registered patients and caregivers assures that patients have an adequate supply of medicinal cannabis. Why is the News-Register opposed to patients having an adequate supply of medicine which needs to be cultivated and is thus subject to all of the uncertainties of agriculture?
Oregonians have the opportunity to fix the existing medical marijuana law by making sure that no patient is without the protection they deserve. Compassionate Oregonians ought to vote Yes on Measure 33.