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Jun-07-2008 15:50printcomments

Marijuana, Battle Veterans and the VA

The VA is more dangerous than a battle in Iraq.

Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - It appears that battle veterans are getting it in the neck again (I'm saying this because this is a family Website).

Around June 1st 2008, The Charleston North Carolina, Gazette newspaper reported four battle veterans with PTSD dying from prescriptions given them by VA clinics. The medications wrere Paxil, Klonopin and Seroquel.

The father of one of the victims, Stan White, researched this and found eight more dead victims in the Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia area. This doesn't seem to bother the VA but we/somebody should question on what is going on. As a physician/pharmacist and victim of VA hospital medical abuse, I think I know what is causing these deaths and I believe these reports are the "tip of the iceberg". Whoever is "taking care" of these battle veterans and I believe it is psychologists or social workers rather than physician/psychiatrists.

Therein lies the problem. A medical adage is, if one pill doesn't work, take two and if that still doesn't work take more ir add a similar medication. This is standard operating procedure (SOP) in the VA rather than good medical care. The combination can be/is lethal.

The deaths of those 12 veterans should be a red flag of danger but I suspect VA psychologists are color blind also.

The article in the newspaper brought about 17 letters to the editor which indicate the readers know more than the VA caretakers.

one writer wrote "Seroquel turns one into a zombie". A physician, Dr. Ann Blake Tracy wrote "two of this type of drug should never be given together." She questions the rationale of the "doctors".

Another mother wrote of her son's death from Zyprexa v which is in the same family.

Another wrote of the recent article that anti-depressants don't work. Another relates the same of Progentin which was pulled from use.

It is time for a real evaluation of VA treatment for PTSD battle veterans. Although they represent less than one percent of the population, they produce 20 percent of the deaths by suicide- multiple tragedies.

Yes, treatment by the VA is far more dangerous than combat in Baghdad. Hoorah and blessings to my brothers in the Infantry.

As a final statement, my 400+ Vietnam Veterans say marijuana works better (and safer) than ANY of the above drugs.



Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
Email him: Newsroom@Salem-News.com

More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.

If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King and Dr. Phil Leveque.

Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Salem-News.com: Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES




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AM3 William Klemp September 23, 2011 5:22 am (Pacific time)

"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."- Thomas Jefferson


Tim N September 7, 2009 2:52 am (Pacific time)

The Government will continue to let veterans like myself and other people suffer and die until they can regulate, tax, and take marijuana away from the people. In a Republic with Democracy as our style, there seems to be alot of government control with little choice granted to the people. If the government sees marijuana as so bad, I wonder how they view the thousands of Kilos of cocane the CIA has ships into America. Marijuana helps me find my humanity that I always feel is lost. Too bad humanity takes a back seat to taxes and pocketbooks.


SSG D. Shelton September 4, 2008 2:03 pm (Pacific time)

I am a 100% service connected disabled veteran, and am being prescribed over 22 medications from the VA including morphine and hydrocodone. I sought and was granted a medical marijuana license in my state and took matters in my own hands as our government clearly won't help us in this area. They make too much money keeping it as schedule one and state the reason for keeping it there is lack of proof it helps people. Yes this is laughable, but a direct quote from the DEA. My questions is obvious, what reason do you have to keep it as schedule 1 with no benefit to mankind when there is clear evidence to the contrary? There are reasons we have THC receptors in our brain just as we have opiate receptors. I consume marijuana with my meals and it helps me keep food down, works in conjunction with my medications giving me a quality of life I couldn't have without it. Anyone who condemns medical marijuana has not tried it or/and doesn't have a life threatening medical conditions being over medicated by extremely dangerous chemicals. The fact remains every prescription chemical has dangerous side effects, but none compare to the side effect of the threat of prison or death by our government for consuming medical marijuana. Where did this idea of a constitutionally backed government by the people for the people work by having a government telling us what is best for us? And worse, punishing us for seeking treatments and natural medicines that work better then any chemical they have. It can't be the large Pharmaceutical and Oil lobbies funding political campaigns and lining the pockets of our representatives? We need to take our government out of the pockets of corporations.


Focus June 17, 2008 8:27 am (Pacific time)

Since the below was in the Washington Times this poster appreciates it's value. We have known for decades that veterans have been used as lab rats for very questionable experiments. Though there are a significant percentage of highly experienced healthcare personnel who question the long term benefit of MJ, we all should ban together to track down those VA people who are greenlighting scenario's like the below: "The government is testing drugs with severe side effects like psychosis and suicidal behavior on hundreds of military veterans, using small cash payments to attract patients into medical experiments that often target distressed soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, a Washington Times/ABC News investigation has found. In one such experiment involving the controversial anti-smoking drug Chantix, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took three months to alert its patients about severe mental side effects. The warning did not arrive until after one of the veterans taking the drug had suffered a psychotic episode that ended in a near lethal confrontation with police. ROD LAMKEY JR./THE WASHINGTON TIMES Veteran James Elliott arrives at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington for his scheduled substance-abuse class in April. Mr. Elliott, a chain smoker, served 15 months in Iraq as an Army sharpshooter and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder. ROD LAMKEY JR./THE WASHINGTON TIMES Iraq war veteran James Elliott opted for a government clinical trial for a smoking-cessation drug for $30 a month, starting in November. Two weeks later, the FDA informed the VA of serious side effects. ROD LAMKEY JR./THE WASHINGTON TIMES STILL SMOKING: Iraq war veteran James Elliott smokes on his porch in Silver Spring as he talks about his experiences in war and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr. Elliott suffered a psychotic episode while taking the anti-smoking drug Chantix. James Elliott, a decorated Army sharpshooter who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving 15 months in Iraq, was confused and psychotic when he was Tasered by police in February as he reached for a concealed handgun when officers responded to a 911 call at his Maryland home. For photos, video of James Elliott, official FDA documents and more, visit the interactive site for the Disposable Heroes report. Mr. Elliott, a chain smoker, began taking Chantix last fall as part of a VA experiment that specifically targeted veterans with PTSD, opting to collect $30 a month for enrolling in the clinical trial because he needed cash as he returned to school. He soon began suffering hallucinations and suicidal thoughts, unaware that the new drug he was taking could have caused them. Just two weeks after Mr. Elliott began taking Chantix in November, the VA learned from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the drug was linked to a large number of hallucinations, suicide attempts and psychotic behavior. But the VA did not alert Mr. Elliott before his own episode in February. In failing to do so, Mr. Elliott said, the VA treated him like a "disposable hero." "You're a lab rat for $30 a month," Mr. Elliott said.


Stan Elcasser June 9, 2008 10:13 pm (Pacific time)

When is the government going to figure out that they are hurting those who are most faithful to them? Thanks Doctor Leveque for sharing your years of acquired wisdom with us, you make the world a more informed place.


jsknow June 8, 2008 10:10 am (Pacific time)

Our Government needs to stop killing and harming our veterans and all citizens! PROHIBITION never works it just causes crime and violence. We build 900 new prison beds and hire 150 more correction officers every two weeks. We arrest someone on a drug charge every 17 seconds. We jail more people than any nation. We spend $69 billion a year on the drug war. In 1914 when ALL drugs were legal 1.3% of our population was addicted to drugs, today 1.3% of our population is STILL addicted to drugs. Over 100,000 people have been killed because of the drug war. The only way to control drugs is to regulate them and end the profits available to criminals just like ending alcohol prohibition did. There’s only been one drug success story in history, tobacco, the most deadly and one of the most addictive drugs. Almost half the users quit because of REGULATION, ACCURATE INFORMATION AND MEDICAL TREATMENT. No one went to jail and no one got killed. JOIN EMAIL LIST, WATCH VIDEOS: Internet Explorer: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home Other browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

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