Who would you believe... One of the nation's most educated doctors? Or a mainstream reporter with an obvious agenda?
I discovered by computer the original article by the same title in the Gresham, Oregon newspaper, The Outlook, by accident. I had been interviewed for it by Taryn Luna and was assured that it would be a well balanced story giving both sides of the medical marijuana story. How sharper than a serpents tooth can be a reporters pen. I was more misquoted and disquoted than I could have imagined.
Any medical marijuana patient can look up this story by typing up this articles title which I recommend. Because I was the marijuana doctor being misquoted I feel I must respond. I’m going to start at the top: First of all she mentions the ills of smoking marijuana or adding it to their brownies. This is how they make and use beneficial medicine (We recommend vaporizers, not smoking).
Secondly, the police, Deputy Adam Swail, makes many false allegations. He says it’s being abused. These are the mostly NON MEDICAL users. He says it lacks sufficient regulations. This is MEDICINE and should be treated as such. He says medical marijuana cards (permits) are used as a front for illegal operations.
I believe the illegalities are about one percent. There are about 30 thousand licensed patients and caregiver/growers. Illegal activity is very small.
The statement that one plant could produce 4 pounds of dried marijuana is a caretakers dream at best, anything over 2 pounds is pure luck and good growing.
Very few medical users have real difficulty getting “medicine”, everybody shares. They don’t have to steal.
Attorney Paula Barran talks about workplace accidents with MMJ. It’s false and pathetic.
Deputy Swail says marijuana is the ONLY drug where one can self medicate. EVERY PATIENT SELF MEDICATES whatever drug he/she is taking. There is NO dosage. Every patient is unique and the MJ is of very variable strength. The plan is to use enough for the problem. There is no evidence MJ users cause more accidents.
Pain IS the most common need for MMJ. Patients usually have been given massive amounts of Oxycontin, Morphine, Vicodin, et cetera and many were addicted. Marijuana has very little addiction but it is an excellent pain killer.
Deputy Swail says we should tighten the laws. We are supposed to be talking about medical marijuana here. These MJ laws are being obeyed at least 99% of the time.
The second part of the story is about me. I did sign up to 50% of the permits per year based upon previous doctors chart notes and the drug history. I had many Veterans because VA doctors were forbidden to sign.
My discipline by the Oregon Medical Board was a cruel farce to my 4000 plus patients. At the time I was the only doctor who would help them. Now almost 3000 doctors are taking care of the 25 thousand patients.
For my readers, if you really want some fun, look up part three of this story. It has 32 comments, over 13 pages, really condemning Taryn Luna and the editors of Gresham Outlook for publishing such an atrocious article.
I’m astonished they had the integrity to publish the condemning comments.
Dr. Phil Leveque
November 2, 2009