Monday March 10, 2014
Restless Leg Syndrome: Medical Marijuana Patients’ Say it WorksDr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician and Toxicologist.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - There may be 10 million RLS patients in the U.S. This will be good news to them. I was one of the first doctors to sign up patients for Oregon’s medical marijuana permits. I had patients number 13 and 14.
Through the five years I was able to work before the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners revoked my license, I had between 4 and 6 thousand patients. I never did count them because I saw patients in at least twenty places from the coast to Bend and Klamath Falls in Eastern Oregon.
Why I had to travel all over the state is not a mystery. Other doctors were afraid of their own shadows and big brother to do this. However, eventually 2,200 doctors did shake off their paranoia and finally joined the club. Hoorah.
The original medical marijuana bill in California in 1998 required the following disease entities to get a “permit”: cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, and arthritis.
This was a rather loose list but it did give the doctor the option of recommending it for “any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.” This gave California doctors wide latitude for issuing permits.
Dr. Tod Mikiyuria found after interviewing and/or reviewing about 30,000 patient charts that marijuana was effective for about 200 separate medical entities.
It is difficult for most physicians to believe it could be effective for such a wide variety of conditions, and I as a Professor of Pharmacology took in all this with a grain of salt till I started seeing affected patients. It was one surprise after another. I got over the idea that the patients might be faking it to get a permit because it cost about $150 dollars to go through my clinics and the state charged $100 dollars for the permit. Would the patients fake it if it still cost $250 dollars? I doubt it.
When the first patient came in with “restless leg syndrome” I was bemused for a while. What’s going on here, I said to myself.
I knew that quadriplegics, paraplegics, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy patients had legs that jumped around and marijuana gave them relief. All these seemed to be treated poorly with valium-like drugs and the doses were high enough to be strongly sedative and extremely addicting. It didn’t take many doctor “smarts” to figure out if the restless leg patient said marijuana works, it must be so.
According to T.V. news programs, about 10 million patients have restless legs. Marijuana is a nice, safe, effective medicine. The big problem is that only in eleven states can the patients get a permit to use marijuana legally.
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