JOSH FEIT: I won't go into the utter wrongness of letting a Pharmaceutical Taliban decide who can and cannot obtain legally prescribed medications ["The Drug War," June 8]. Nor will I try to analyze the mindset of the smarmy weasel of a petty deity channeler who would do such enforcement.

If the governor can't stop this crap, at the very least we should enact a law requiring all pharmacies to post, in clear and forthright language on the front door, whether they are a "full-service" or "morality-enforced" provider. Then, we as consumers can enforce OUR morality by patronizing that pharmacy or not, whether we need one of the banned prescriptions or not.

Why risk any possible hassle? When encountering a morality-enforced pharmacy, we won't have go in there, for anything. Maybe a boycott of this Pharmaceutical Taliban will bring the corporate greed instincts to the place where they belong.



JOSH FEIT: I've been following this issue with a lot of interest. I'm frankly surprised that physicians are not more engaged in fighting this. After all, prescriptions aren't written by persons with no knowledge of medicine and health care. They are written, for the most part, by physicians and nurse practitioners. There is a "through the looking glass" character to almost everything about this proposal, but one of the less emphasized wacko elements is that it allows pharmacists (who are not medically trained, have not examined the patient, and have no knowledge of the patient's medical history or particular needs) to veto a physician or nurse practitioner's decision about her or his patient's health care.

Where are the AMA and other medical and nursing organizations on this?

Jonathan Fine


DEAR STRANGER: Thanks for your consistently excellent coverage of the pharmacy board drug wars. While Donna Dockter and the other board members may not be fundamentalists, they are doing the right wing's bidding by proposing a rule that allows pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription for any reason. Public testimony has been overwhelmingly opposed to this position. I wonder what kind of professional pressure and monetary threats board members are getting behind closed doors?

I was present at the March meeting of the board where this issue first went public. The misogynists attended in force and made it clear they objected not only to Plan B but to other contraception and to drugs that would be prescribed if Washington passed a Death with Dignity law.

A shock for me at the meeting was the "compromise" put forward by Planned Parenthood and Northwest Women's Law Center that would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription on moral grounds if another pharmacist were present to fill the request. National NARAL also takes this position. I believe this is an unsupportable accommodation that gives credence to pharmacists withholding drugs out of personal bias. A letter I received from NWLC's Lauren Trent defended the position on the grounds that a pharmacist who refuses medications is exercising religious expression and is protected by state antidiscrimination law. No way!

It's clear that we can't sit quietly and hope the governor will save the day. We need to keep the pressure on the board and the governor—speak out, write, call, and picket! No unelected board should be allowed to subvert the rights of women and all medical consumers.

Helen Gilbert,

Radical Women


EDITOR: I am surprised at Dan Savage's statement that all the 43rd District candidates "support marriage equality" [CounterIntel, June 8] and therefore somehow there's nothing distinctive about Jamie Pedersen's commitment to the issue. I would have thought Savage knew the difference between a legislator voting for a bill on the house floor, which any representative in the 43rd can be expected to do, and a legislator using every ounce of political capital at every point through years of service to advance the case for marriage equality, the way Ed Murray advanced the civil rights bill. Pedersen has spent the last 10 years working on the issue and can be trusted to carry it forward into his legislative service as one of his top priorities. I don't believe any of the other candidates have made it a primary agenda item.

Kathy Roseth


DEAR EDITOR: In last week's CounterIntel, Dan Savage writes that I am supporting 43rd District state house candidate Jamie Pedersen because "he's a friend." I also am supporting Pedersen because I know him to be exceptionally bright and sincere with a passionate commitment to public education, affordable health care, and transportation solutions.

The election of Pedersen to the statehouse also will make a difference in the legislature's deliberation on the issue of marriage equality for gay and lesbian families. As a member of the national board of Lambda Legal and an attorney involved in the marriage-equality lawsuit currently before the state supreme court, Pederson has unrivaled knowledge, passion, and credibility on this issue.

Rep. Dave Upthegrove

(D–Des Moines)


DEAR EDITOR: Dan Savage created a tempest in a teapot with his blog comments [Slog, "Weaselgate," May 26] and then added to it last week in a timely column [CounterIntel, June 8]. First, Savage is correct: All candidates in the race support marriage equality. Second, marriage equality is an issue for the courts; at least that is what Equal Rights Washington told us during the effort to pass nondiscrimination legislation. But there is more at stake here. I want a candidate who represents diversity and has depth of experience working for social justice as well as someone who supports our issues. If Pederson were running for state supreme court, I would probably vote for him, but he's not. Lynne Dodson was the only candidate in this race to testify before the King County Council in support of transgender workers, but it is her broad experience in social-justice work that is my reason for supporting her. When we voters are asked to decide who is to replace Ed Murray, we should look to his example. Murray distinguished himself not only on gay issues, but also on a host of other important topics such as transportation and farm-worker housing. For a change, I find myself in the same boat as Savage. "Gay" is not the only factor in this race.

Jeffrey A. Wasson