Medical Marijuana: The Replacement for Very Dangerous Drugs

May 16, 2007

Dr. Phillip Leveque, OpEd, Salem-News (OR)

When I was ordered before the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners, the first question I was asked by Dr. Spokas, the chairman, from Ontario, Oregon, was “Dr. Leveque don’t you know that marijuana is very addicting and very dangerous?”

Frankly, I didn’t know or believe this and all of my experience with fifty years study and 4000 patients told me this was totally false, but when one is facing a “Spanish inquisition” with psychological “thumb screws” or “hanging”, I decided to answer “maybe for some people”. I didn’t believe a word of it. I didn’t dare ask where he got his information but I assumed it came from the U.S. government, which has produced false propaganda for 70 plus years.

Marijuana is less addictive and less dangerous than Starbuck’s espresso.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Law allows the use of marijuana for Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s rage, Glaucoma, chronic pain, chronic nausea, chronic spasms, Multiple Sclerosis and seizures.

As a retired Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, I accepted this with a grain of salt but when I started seeing patients, I was astonished and pleased that indeed the above conditions were “miraculously” alleviated by the use of medical marijuana.

I was further astonished when I was told by the patients “marijuana is much better than any prescription I have been given". Further questioning of patients indicated it was better that the morphine-like painkillers, such as Oxycontin, Percodan or Demerol. It was also better than the Valium-like tranquilizers, such as Xanax, and Ambien, etc. and even the anti-depressants, such as Elavil, Trazadone, etc. and the really heavy anti-depressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft, etc.

Another, almost strange, report was that it was preferred to Aspirin and Tylenol, etc. because it worked faster with no stomach or liver damage.

For a retired Professor of Pharmacology, the patient’s reports were really a “blockbuster”. The biggest surprise came really quickly by Viet Nam veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They had been given every kind of medication, which gave minimal, if any, relief and many suffers simply turned to alcohol stupefaction to blot out PTSD battle stress.

The latter had become a tragedy for many as they had discovered in Viet Nam the marijuana was an excellent tranquilizer, better than any standard such drug or alcohol.

Literature review for current Marijuana Therapy led me to “O’Shaughnessy, The Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice”, a newspaper-like magazine published by a group of California Marijuana Specialists, which are providing the cutting edge for information on the subject.

California is the leading marijuana state with about 300,000 legal marijuana patients. I am not / was not surprised to see that the reports of the fifteen doctors in the journal correspond with my own experiences. In fact, Dr. Tod Mikuriya has found that marijuana provides relief for about 200 specific diseases. It seems like marijuana could be / should be the first choice drug rather than the last.

Cannabis / marijuana medicines were at one time the “drugs of choice” in the United States, until they were declared illegal. They had been used for 100 specific medical problems through the use of about 30 prescription medicines.

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Dr. Phillip Leveque is a Combat Infantryman, Physician and Toxicologist. He served with distinction in World War II, at one time taking 26 Nazi officers into custody that he and one other soldier discovered.



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