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Oregon Medical Board and Medical Marijuana Permits and Their Foolish, Illogical RequirementsDr. Phillip Leveque Doctor of Pharmacology Salem-News.com
Who do they think they are?
(PORTLAND, OR) - When Oregon first legalized medical marijuana in 1998, medical conditions which made a patient eligible for a permit were cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's, Cachexia/Anorexia, pain, nausea, seizures and spasms. These medical conditions were on the state application forms and the marijuana doctor was supposed to just check which of the medical conditions that the patients had to get the permit to grow, carry and use marijuana.
I really did not believe that one medicine would or could be effective for all these various conditions, but if the Oregon State Dept. of Human Services (DHS) said so, it must be true! I had experienced a severe medical problem in that my feet were burning all the time so that I couldn't run back and forth in a regular office practice, but I could do the medical marijuana procedures by just sitting at my desk. I had been studying the therapeutic effects of marijuana for about 50 years and I knew that it was both very safe and very effective for many medical conditions. I felt right at home doing this.
Both the doctors' and patients' identities were supposed to be kept confidential and secret by the state medical marijuana office, but a reporter from a local newspaper divulged my name and the medical board took note of it.
I was at first seeing about 10 or 12 marijuana patients a day and more than any other doctor and the medical board soon investigated me.
The board was extremely anti-marijuana and they soon jumped all over me. Their position was that marijuana was a dangerous, addictive poison and they proceeded to attack me in that I was the ONLY doctor who was doing this.
They contacted Dr. Grant Higginson, Director of the state marijuana program, to inquire why one doctor was signing so many applications. They wanted to know why I was not performing a complete, $200 physical exam on the patients. I asked Dr. Higginson what part of a normal physical exam would be necessary? He telephoned the medical board and sent me a letter telling me that a complete physical exam would be necessary.
I told him a complete physical exam would cost too much for the patients, take too much time, and besides that, there was no part of the physical examination which would detect most of the medical conditions required for a permit. He relayed this to the medical board and they suspended my license for 90 days and fined me $5,000 for "unprofessional conduct" for not performing (worthless) physical exams, conducting (worthless) medical tests, maintaining (useless) medical charts, reviewing for (insignificant) contraindications, conferring with other (ignorant) medical care providers (!).
They accused me of not seeing quadriplegics, paraplegics, blind, epileptics, cerebral palsy patients, and multiple sclerosis patients who lived hundreds of miles away, whose trip would be extremely difficult, painful and costly.
In my defense, I pointed out that there are no physical exams which would detect or verify cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's, Cachexia/Anorexia, pain, nausea, seizures or spasms. It didn't seem to make any difference to them that all those conditions would require Board Certified Specialists, which I was not.
It is very curious that most of the 3,500 physicians who did sign applications were not doing physical exams to detect and verify these medical conditions.
Subsequent to the board revoking my medical license, only about 5 other doctors have received condemnation and some revocations. Most of them were friends of mine!
Now Gov. Kitzhaber has signed a law allowing PTSD patients, whether military or civilian, to get marijuana permits.
We are expecting that thousands more PTSD patients will get permits.
Please see: The Most Dangerous Man in Oregon
Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
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:
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