have sent the following LTE to Statesman/Journal:
I was saddened and outraged to see John Walters ('An Oregon measure is an attempt to legalize pot, he says' by Brad Cain, The Associated Press, September 13, 2004) ignorant and threatening comments about Oregon's Measure 33 (Oregon Medical Marijuana Act 2). Oregonians have the right to vote and pass laws that enhance their quality of life.
Even more outrageous are the comments attributed to Scott Heiser, Benton County District Attorney. He was a part time participant in the State Legislative Advisory Committee and Workgroup for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). After months of work, Health Services for the State of Oregon had reached some consensus with patient advocates and other members of the advisory group. Mr. Heiser and law enforcement promptly withdrew from all further participation when it appeared that common sense would prevail.
Measure 33 will allow medical marijuana patients access to safe, legal medicine. The current program has more than 10,000 patients, with more than 1400 doctors giving recommendations. The current program operates 'in the black' with a surplus of over one million dollars. The State's General Fund has already benefited. Do not be fooled by wild statements that '"Under this measure, the Benton County Health Department would be required to give away free dope to indigent users at taxpayer expense.". This, as Mr. Heiser is very aware, is simply not true.