To the Editor, STATESMAN JOURNAL:
have sent the following LTE to Statesman/Journal:
I must comment on the AP article of September 13,2004, addressing Measure 33.
"Scott Heiser also objects to the measure because it requires free marijuana for indigent patients." Poor medical marijuana patients cannot afford to buy ANY medicine, certainly not marijuana on the black market, nor can they afford the extremely high costs of equipment and expenses to grow it. Patients using "green medicine"usually get better symptom control with less prescriptions: this will save the financially struggling Oregon Health Plan significant expenditures for prescriptions. Is Mr. Heiser opposed to poor patients suffering less acute symptoms, and the Oregon Health Plan saving tax dollars on prescriptions? OMMA2 will be self funded, using no state general funding.
Referring to the O.M.A., the AP writes,"The association said that safer, synthetic derivatives of marijuana are available to patients and that studies have shown that smoking marijuana can damage people's lungs". Is the association aware that marijuana can be eaten in cooking, vaporized, used in tinctures and oil extracts, and taken as capsules? The ONLY "synthetic derivatives" is synthetic THC, "Marinol". THC is only ONE of the estimated over 50 cannabinoids (active ingredients) in real marijuana. Research indicates the COMBINATION of cannabinoids is FAR more effective for neurological pain than THC alone; most patients indicate marijuana is more effective for symptom control than THC alone.
Please check the facts.