To the editor,
I was the first patient in Oregon to receive a permit to legally use medical marijuana under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, passed in 1998 by a margin of more than 100,000 votes.
I have multiple sclerosis and use medical marijuana to control the muscle spasms common with the disease. Medical marijuana has far fewer and less severe side effects than the more powerful narcotics I had relied on. The marijuana act was a compassionate step taken by Oregon voters, and let me thank everyone publicly for the courageous step you took in 1998 in the face of opposition from the federal government. Many of my 10,000 fellow patients do not have the luxury of a caregiver.
It is for their sake that I ask you to support Measure 33.
Measure 33 would allow state-regulated, nonprofit dispensaries where patients could legally get their medication. This is not just compassionate, but logical. This is not legalization.
The dispensaries, which would be reviewed and inspected by the Oregon Department of Human Services, would provide access to medication only for patients with a legitimate registry card.
Voters in Oregon have overwhelmingly agreed that these patients should not be sent to prison for following their doctors' recommendations. Providing safe and legal access to medication is simply the right thing to do.
Please vote YES on Measure 33.