Pubdate: Sun, 10 Feb 2008
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2008 The Oregonian
Author: John Sajo


Your editorial calling on legislators to reject a reasonable
compromise and pass a bill that would allow any employer to fire any
medical marijuana patient is misguided.

You cite the fact that 16,000 patients are registered in the medical
marijuana program as evidence of abuse. Anti-marijuana forces hoped
there would be few patients benefiting from medical marijuana because
they don't want to admit that marijuana has a positive side. The
reality is that marijuana has proved to be a safer, more effective
medicine than many pharmaceutical alternatives. That is why more than
2,600 Oregon doctors have recommended marijuana for their patients.

Additionally, many carefully controlled scientific studies conducted
since Oregon voters passed the medical marijuana law have confirmed
what the doctors and patients know from experience. Marijuana is safe
and effective for some patients when used properly. Marijuana relieves

Your call to fire medical marijuana patients won't make our workplaces
safer. The business interests that want to fire patients have admitted
that they can't cite a single example of a workplace accident caused
by a medical marijuana patient. Focusing on marijuana and ignoring the
risks from workers who are impaired from alcohol, prescription drugs
or just plain fatigue is whitewashing the real problem.

What we really need in the workplace is impairment testing. This would
help employers identify workers who are dangerous to themselves or
others regardless of the reason.

John Sajo

Director, Voter Power

Southeast Portland
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