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Apr-13-2007 19:27printcomments

Dr. Phil Leveque: Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor and WWII Veteran

He's been a fighter since his days in the Army during World War Two, when he captured 26 Nazi officers. These days this veteran physician fights for the rights of patients who use marijuana as a medicine.

Dr. Phillip Leveque
Dr. Phil Leveque, WWII Veteran and Salem-News.com Medical Expert; Photo by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - Note from Publisher:

This is our first published article with Dr. Phil Leveque, WWII Veteran and survivor of innumerable life-altering obstacles.

Dr. Leveque is a true friend to humanity, an unceasing fighter for his fellow man (and woman)... we have much admiration, appreciation and love for "Doc". He has been a constant supporter of our mission to tell the truth, and we could ask for no better platoon leader.

A big THANK YOU to Dr. Leveque, who has given so much, and continues, unwavering, for all of us.

_________________________________________

The world is changing fast and medical marijuana is a daily reality for thousands of patients in Oregon, and hundreds of thousands of people nationwide who suffer from a variety of illnesses.

But who can pot smokers turn to for medical care? Needless to say, a vast majority of users are hesitant to discuss their use with physicians, and doctors are fearful when it comes to discussing a substance that potentially violates the law.

Federal laws still consider possession of pot illegal, even though states and individual counties have adopted their own standards.

Because of the federal shadow cast on the situation, hundreds of thousands of legal users and millions of illegal users, go without adequate medical advice.

In a unique new segment, Salem-News.com brings viewers the words and wisdom of one of Oregon's most famous doctors, Dr. Phillip Leveque, a man who fought in World War Two and now fights to make access to marijuana a matter of reality. He also was instrumental in the initial changing of Oregon law that allowed medical the use of Medical Marijuana in the first place.

*****INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: Bonnie King with Dr. Phillip Leveque****

He’s not Jack Kevorkian, but the man who was named Oregon’s most dangerous doctor, Dr. Phillip Leveque, is equally notorious in his own right, as an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana legalization.

Who is Dr. Leveque? His story begins long ago, on the battlefields of France and Belgium, during a period in WWII that claimed tens of thousands of his fellow American soldiers. It was around the time of the Battle of the Bulge, as U.S. soldiers fought ferociously against the armed forces of Hitler’s third Reich. Phillip Leveque was 19 years old.

"Well, this was about six weeks before the end of the war. The main attack was down in the bottom of a valley where the main road was but my group was up at the top coming in from the side of the town, and Capt. Otterbine, my captain said Leveque, “you and Branon check out that house over there” which was about fifty yards away or something like that, and fortunately had had quite a few trees, so we went into the trees and we leapfrogged from tree to tree and they were about oh, a foot or so in diameter so you could hide behind them in a manner of speaking.

"So, I got up to the last tree and I told Branon. I says ‘cover me, I’m gonna’ run for the corner of the house.’

"I ran past the window and through the window I could see gray uniforms inside and I knew there was a whole bunch but I couldn’t count them. So I just stopped there,’What am I gonna’ do next’?

"Then clump, clump clump and it was German captain. And I had my rifle poked right under his chin, so I asked him in German how many solders there were in there and he said 26, so I asked him in German, “Do they have weapons?”
“No”
And I didn’t believe that at all, so whatever.

"There were two of us, what was going to do with 26 prisoners, especially depending on whether or not they had weapons? I gotta’ take this dude over to the captain and find out what we’re gonna do next.

"And so I marched the captain over with the gun pointed in his back and we got over there and he gave him a heil Hitler salute. And I said to Captain Otterbine, I said, should I give him a rifle butt? He says no, no no what’s going on? And I said ‘he says there are 26 officers over in that house’ and he looked me up and down like, “you lyin’ so and so.”

"So he says I’ll send you half a squad to guard them, six people, and I said “that’s great.”

After World War Two, Phillip Leveque was accepted by the Oregon Medical School and so began his years of education leading to an esteemed medical career that led him around the world.

"I got my PHD in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1954, and I was an instructor at the medical school and an instructor and assistant professor at the dental school, and then my first real job was at the medical college of Georgia which was 3,000 miles away.

"When I left Portland in 1955 I told my mother I would be home in two years, it took 22 years to get back home."

Doctor Leveque left behind a legacy, having helped establish some of the first practicing doctors in third world areas.

"I was invited by the University of London to teach in Africa, I was in Africa; Uganda and Tanzania, and I helped train the first doctors in Tanzania."

Even the earliest facet of his medical career included an encounter with the natural substance he would later come to advocate. A plant that’s use is legal for tens of thousands of medical patients in the United States alone.

"The first job that I had in the department, the doctor says “Leveque, go into the stock room, you can straighten it out and make some kind of order. Well one of the first things that I found was a gallon jug of cannabis cough medicine.

"It had been 13 years since a law that said it was illegal to have any kind of cannabis anyplace, anywhere, anything and so I said ‘well it says cannabis cough medicine, it was manufactured by Park Davis Pharmaceuticals,’ and so I poured myself a pint of it and I brought it home and it’s probably out in the barn here someplace, I haven’t seen it in years but it’s probably out there but it worked… and that was a surprise to me."

"I ended up with about 30 severe chronic pain patients that no other doctor wanted to take care of, and so I had in addition to being a physician, I am also a professional toxicologist and I have been in court over 400 times as an expert witness.

"And I, just like I say, I thought I knew how to treat patients with chronic pain and I’m still convinced that I do and I did and so forth. But, the insurance company lawyer says that I was over diagnosing, over treating and over charging, and so the Board of Medical Examiners suspended me for ten years because I was taking care of too many chronic pain patients, which nobody else wanted to take care of, so that was quite an insult to my character because I felt that I knew as much pharmacology and therapeutics as any doctor, any place.

"And probably somewhere between ten and twenty million people use it, almost on a daily basis when they can get it. Now, this whole business about it being addictive is crazy, it’s not addicting, it’s less addicting than Starbucks coffee."

"Most people want to know, “will marijuana help my medical condition?” And I think after seeing 6,000 patients I know what condition it will help and ones it probably won’t,

"But the strange thing is, that some of the pharmacology textbooks from 75 years ago, say that marijuana is a euphoriant and is habit forming, euphoriant meaning it makes you feel good, what’s wrong with feeling good? And I think that in most instances regarding the pharmacology or therapeutics of cannabis is that it makes them feel good.

"Now 20 or 30 years ago they used to take amphetamines, or Dexedrine or nowadays they use methamphetamines, which really gives them a euphoria, so it works well for that and anybody that says it is dangerous is crazy, it is not, I mean the worst side affect is if you overdose you will sleep for 24-hours but some time one of my patients said, “I overdosed, and fell asleep in front of the refrigerator”.

"So it’s probably the least harmful drug that’s ever been used by man, probably so, and that includes alcohol, nicotine, aspirin, aspirin kills several thousand people a year in the United States, and even caffeine can kill a person."

"If I don’t know it nobody else does either, and the fact of the matter is I have written a cannabis pharmacology book, and I read over 400 articles to put my book together, if it’s not in my book it ain’t no place else either, it just isn’t.

"And I say that on this basis: that I am a physician who has treated between four and six thousand patients but I’m also, I believe, the only professor of pharmacology who is treating patients.

"You’re either talking about it or you’re doing it, I’m doing it."

As a new service of Salem-News.com, Dr. Phillip Leveque is going to begin taking questions and providing expert answers about medical marijuana and other toxicology issues, including those that want to learn more about cannabis as a medical treatment.

If you have questions for Dr. Leveque regarding toxicology or medical marijuana, write to: newsroom@Salem-News.com. In Salem, I’m Bonnie King, reporting for Salem-News.com

_________________________________________

DISCLAIMER: Salem-News.com does not advocate any illegal activity. This special segment is geared completely toward exploring the legal use of marijuana as a medical treatment.

Dr. Phillip Leveque's opinions and advice are intended only as such, and his statements are strictly his own, and do not represent the opinions or policies of Salem-News.com. The email address is: newsroom@salem-news.com Attention: Dr. Leveque

_________________________________________




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Anonymous March 30, 2013 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

Video is blank

We will try to replace, thank you and sorry.


My New Hero June 2, 2008 11:05 am (Pacific time)

As an american soldier getting back from iraq, i have to say that this man is my hero. If more people in the world thought like him...


Kevin September 19, 2007 2:28 pm (Pacific time)

So...whats wrong with weed? It's from the earth, you can't OD on it..people say it impares your driving and such, but no more than alcohol or any other narcotic. LEGALIZE.


Osotan; April 16, 2007 5:41 pm (Pacific time)

I've been baking cakes and cookies, etc.,for years using a recepie commandeered from High Times Magazine., basically it works in anything you can eat after extracting the active ingredient,(cannabonal), into an edible oil medium.,it not only tastes good but makes you feel good too! So I would like to volunteer to be the "regulator" of the cannabis comission.,quality cotrol and redistributing the garnered taxes and liscence fees. Legalize it!


The Editor April 16, 2007 2:59 pm (Pacific time)

Karen, thanks for writing. This video is 10-minutes long, so there is a longer "buffering" period. On a fast internet line like we have here at Salem-News.com, it still takes a few minutes to buffer, whereas a 2-minute video buffers fairly quickly. I did check it to make sure it is working correctly and it is, so here is the trick. Click the play button, then click it again and that will pause the video. If you give it about five minutes, the gray bar at the bottom of the frame will move all the way across and that means it is ready. Thanks for your patience!


Karen Meanea April 16, 2007 2:03 pm (Pacific time)

The video doesn't work right. Stops and starts over a 1/2 of fighting the video.


one who sees April 16, 2007 1:33 pm (Pacific time)

Have experienced pot a few, maybe 5 times as young adult, my children had tried it, and I wanted to experience this myself... sensing that if your mind was receptive one might understand it, I had lovely wisdom experience, and know this herb was placed here on the planet with compassion for injured and dying deer and other animals. Bless this fine Doctor! In the not too distant future there will be no law against this use. I have continued to use my developing mind in expanding consciousness rather than any medications whatsoever and am a healthy active young person REVERSING my AGE, tho born 75 years ago. Creating my DAY every day, SEEING myself young and vital and working everyday as a 30 year old, am reversing age daily. Know that YOU can do this too. If you visualize yourself running in your dreams, planning wonderful futures, understanding how the brain works, mind develops, neurons take on new life... KNOW YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!!


Albert Marnell April 16, 2007 12:16 pm (Pacific time)

To Lela: Bingo!


Lela April 16, 2007 8:41 am (Pacific time)

What an interesting video! I am glad to see the positive responses. As Albert, I am not a pot head, although I did try it in my youth, but I have known many people, professionals and non-professionals who prefer relaxing with a "joint" versus drinking alcohol to relax. I feel alcohol is the most devastating drug on the market. My husband has just been diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis of the liver cause by alcohol. He loved his "booze" and would never touch "pot". I know people his age who have smoked pot all their lives and are still active and healthy. So, what is so hard to analyze here?? I agree with Albert that the government doesn't need to get involved and it should be grown in gardens along with our tomatoes, but on the other hand I feel if it was taxed and the revenue used for drug rehabilitation and education would be a good thing, but then who would regulate where the revenue would go and keep track of the process. Our government??? That is scary!!


The Editor April 15, 2007 12:50 pm (Pacific time)

Yes Deb, we will include the transcript in the reports.


Deb April 15, 2007 1:48 am (Pacific time)

To the Editors: I hope you will continue to add the transcript with the video. Some of us still have dinosaur dial-up and the video is not really available.


Greg April 14, 2007 10:35 pm (Pacific time)

Follow the money trail whether it be the DEA or the Mafias, they're in it together, making money and a living at the expense of a non-toxic truely beneficial plant. It's all about the money.


Raven April 14, 2007 7:22 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you Salem-News.com. That was a very interesting video. Nice that you can take the time to tell a lot more of the story than your traditional news source.


Scott April 14, 2007 4:39 pm (Pacific time)

Operation wipe out in 1993 was the DEA spraying herbacide across the midwest to kill marijuana plants, as a result the market price of marijuana went through the roof people switched to methamphetimines because they were cheap and easy to come by. I guess our Gov thinks those drugs are better for us rather than these weak natural drugs. Fiscal year 2006 the DEA spent nearly $10 billion on cannabis eradication efforts, most of this was elminating common ditch weed varieties that have very low concentrations of THC


Albert Marnell April 14, 2007 2:44 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Alice, I think we would want to skip the permits. One of the main goals today is much, much less governmental intervention. I would in fact look at it the opposite and let people deduct the cost of it off of their income taxes. Give the government less power and give back power to the people. We have become literal slaves of our government. The main reason that individuals should not pay income taxes is that government is to serve the people not the other way around. Furthermore Federal Income Tax which started in 1913 was never legally ratified. Some people protest and do not pay on that ground alone....but because of the ignorance passed around, 99% of the population does not know this. For those brave enough to assert their right, they wind up being caught up in the endless, uniformed, bureaucracy and are literally forced to pay into this poorly designed scam and wind up in jail....sometimes at the threat of a gun. It is really insane when you study the history of it.


Hank Ruark April 14, 2007 1:59 pm (Pacific time)

Al: Yr insight re commentary-tone here very "telling" --in the best sense: When truth is offerered to those seeking it, their response is measured and mind-opening. Perhaps some of our political persiflage friends should see what's obvious here.


Alice April 14, 2007 1:58 pm (Pacific time)

You know, maybe if pot was legalized, people wouldn't have to pay a lot of money to get a permit to smoke. Most of the people that have medical marijuana cards are just people who smoke pot and want to be able to do it without as many repercussions.


Albert Marnell April 14, 2007 1:40 pm (Pacific time)

From what I have read so far, there seems to be a sophistication of one sort or another from the commentators. This is very telling. They can see through the illogical and irrational prohibition of this plant based on myth, stereotyping, phobia; in addition to its extreme financial competitiveness to the traditional pharmacological industries. No one sounds stoned....interesting.


The Editor April 14, 2007 1:26 pm (Pacific time)

Deb,

This will be an open forum of sorts, but unfortunately the doctor is not an email user so we can not be as fluent with the interaction as in other cases.

What we will do is take as many questions as we can and produce a new video with the Q and A that was submitted each month, or more frequently if the numbers demand it.

We hope that people utilize this unique opportunity to gain a more solid understanding of cannabis and what it's potential legal applications are. At the same time, people who "smoke" any substance are injesting carconigens and this could have an obvoiusly negative effect on a person's health. I suspect that some people will learn things about smoking or using marijuana that steer them away from it. Others may know a person who uses marijuana, but do not know where to turn for advice. We will share all questions submitted with the doctor and he will address as many as possible in each segment.

Thanks


Deb April 14, 2007 12:50 pm (Pacific time)

Is this to be an open forum or merely a place for people to ask the Doc personal questions? I'd support an open forum. Information kills ignorance! Perhaps if there were more truthful information available about this 'weed' we'd have fewer stupid laws concerning it, and more room in our jails for real criminals. Disclaimer: I am not a 'pot head' although I did smoke (and inhale) it in my youth.


xerostomia April 14, 2007 11:23 am (Pacific time)

I will be a regular to this site. It's about time this issue is getting some professional public advice. I have overheard many patients commenting about the Sativa or Indica varieties in the dispensaries and how each could help with their condition. Unfamiliar with the products, most only having local names, confuses many first time visitors. This issue needs to be addressed and standardized before patients can make informed decisions with these herbs.


Albert Marnell April 14, 2007 3:57 am (Pacific time)

Great Report BandT. The real resistance comes "indirectly" from Big Pharma. They know that people can grow their own and can't stand the competition or loss of revenue from harmful drugs that they manufacture. I am against taxing and regulating it. If you grow tomatos in your backyard and you benefit from the nutrients, why should any person, corporation or government agency financially benefit? The focus should be to reduce human suffering. With the mentality in this country pretty soon there will be a tax on the air you breath and it will be defended by various groups that want a piece of the money pie. Grow, grow, grow....and no I am not a pot-head (not a bad idea). I can't handle any smoke of any kind or pollen. The point is what is wrong with a cheap or free medication and even a social substitute for alchohol? I hope the standard comments do not come about "pot-heads" "losers" and all the hackneyed trite labels and sterotypes.


Osotan; April 13, 2007 10:58 pm (Pacific time)

Well now...and why not? This will be a popular site. I hope no one is offended, if so may you find the right dosage from this info for stress and pain reduction, and just old fashioned "euphoria". Legalize it, regulate it, affordably market and tax it!! I will pay my taxes and take up no space in any jails, which are overcrowded as I write. So what if it's a little controversial?

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