Monday, February 4, 2008

Yes, I'm A Medical Marijuana Patient.
No, I'm Not Sorry.

I doubt they'll print it, since I'm an out-of-stater, but an ignorantly inflammatory editorial in the Portland Oregonian galvanized me to send the following letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,

I was quite disappointed to learn that old-style "Reefer Madness" apparently lives on your editorial page ("Don't Make A Bad Marijuana Law Worse," Feb. 4).

The author of this misguided editorial obviously harbors some enormous moral judgments about marijuana and about those who legally use it as medicine, as if they should somehow feel guilty about the relief that is afforded them through using this herb.

As a legal medical marijuana patient myself, I take exception to the moralistic, judgmental, and willfully ignorant tone of the editorial.

The piece asserts that "statistics strongly suggest" that more Oregonians use marijuana as a result of Medical Marijuana Act which the voters passed 10 years ago, when in fact statistics suggest no such thing.

When the law passed in 1998, adult Oregonians ALREADY used marijuana at a rate 50 percent higher than the national rate. I don't think that would come as shocking or remarkable news to anyone, except perhaps the author of the editorial.

The difference is, now those who can show a medical need for cannabis -- and who have a physician's recommendation to use pot to alleviate their symptoms -- no longer have to fear being arrested and jailed for treating themselves with the medicine which they've learned works best.

Among the facts conveniently omitted from the editorial is that the urine testing of which the author is apparently so fond means nothing when it comes to measuring actual impairment. Marijuana can be detected in the urine for 30-45 days after last ingestion -- so the broad net of urine testing captures those who only use medically, never at the workplace, with the result that they are discriminated against even through they've not broken the law.

I can't understand why you'd look nostalgically back at the bad old days when those who need medical marijuana were jailed and deemed unemployable. Medical marijuana users deserve discrimination no more than those who use any other legal medicine.

1 comment:

BJaxon said...

You damn potheads are ruining this country! :O)

I'm kidding of course. I totally agree with you. What's always puzzled me about drug testing when compared to alcohol testing is that all the alcohol tests are done to see if the subect is 'currently' under the influence or impared. Urine tests for pot, as you've stated, just tell if the subject has injested pot at all, not if they're currently impared. If the same standard was used for alcohol (which has been proven time & again to be more dangerous to the body than pot), way more people would be unemployed as "alcoholics" than there would be people labeled "potheads."
Keep those flags of dissent flying! :)