Pubdate: Sun, 10 Oct 2004
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2004 The Register-Guard
Author: Rick Bayer, M.D.
Cited: Measure 33


Measure 33 fixes problems that deny patients real health care choices.
I was a chief petitioner of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act passed in
1998. In a recent poll, 83 percent of Oregonians support our OMMA. But
it is not perfect, and years spent listening to patients brings us to
Measure 33, an OMMA amendment.

Currently, there is no reliable supply of medical marijuana. Some
patients are too sick to grow it, while others, such as those
undergoing cancer chemotherapy, need medicine immediately and can't
wait for a garden to mature. Even good gardeners lose crops.

Measure 33 solves access problems by creating a supply of medical
marijuana through state-regulated and inspected dispensaries. The
dispensaries act like pharmacies to sell safe medicine in a safe
environment rather than forcing patients to deal with the

Real health care choices can involve disagreement with the feds when
they are wrong, such as medical marijuana. The worst they will do is
to enjoin or block dispensaries until legal issues are resolved.
Meanwhile, Oregonians will benefit from the "non-dispensary" parts of
Measure 33, such as allowing patients and caregivers to privately
negotiate reimbursement for expenses. This would greatly improve
access to medicine.

Voters who like the OMMA should really love Measure 33 because it is
truly a patient's bill of rights. If you or a loved one were sick,
wouldn't you want safe and immediate access to the medicine that
helps? Vote yes on 33.


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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake