GOV. DAVIS: Stance on Marijuana, Managed Care Under Scrutiny
The state's newspapers weighed in on Gov. Gray Davis (D) and his stance on a bevy of health care bills, including reforming managed care and revising Proposition 215.
- A San Jose Mercury News editorial blasts Davis for "trying to put the brakes on managed health care legislation while he figures out what the health insurance industry can live with, ... If Davis is feeling overwhelmed, he should consider how the average resident of this state feels when confronted with the bewildering, contradictory, often unfair health care octopus we're saddled with. ... We're not asking for a revolution. But incremental change has to start some time, and that time is now. ... [I]f the governor's package is too heavily tilted toward business and insurance interests, we will begin to wonder if the governor has a real interest in satisfying the public's oft-expressed hunger for meaningful change in managed health care" (7/19).
- A second San Jose Mercury News editorial urges Gov. Gray Davis to negotiate a solution on Proposition 215, California's 1996 law that approves the use of medical marijuana for approved patients. The editorial notes, "Davis missed this point: The federal government has not prosecuted any cancer or AIDS patient who has used marijuana under a doctor's recommendation. ... Davis has an obligation to voters to try to make Prop. 215 work. [Attorney General Bill] Lockyer's (D) task force has presented him an opening to do that. He'd be irresponsible to spurn that opportunity" (7/19).
- A Sacramento Bee editorial deems SB 848, a proposal by state Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) to re-define Proposition 215, "sensible but vague," noting that its authorization of unlimited amounts of marijuana for "seriously ill" Californians fails to define "seriously ill." Additionally, its provision to permit the cultivation of the plant by "primary caregivers" neglects to outline the process of "cultivating and distributing medicinal quantities of the marijuana." The editorial adds, "Vasconcellos' bill wrongly seeks to permit public smoking of medicinal marijuana just about everywhere cigarettes can be legally smoked. ... Most Californians who voted for this proposition surely assumed that seriously ill people who smoke marijuana would do so discreetly." Nevertheless, the editorial labels the bill "a welcome change" and decries the governor's threatened veto as "a double standard" (7/16).