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Jun-27-2007 11:47printcomments

Medical Marijuana: Sleeping Medicine

Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician and Toxicologist.

Sleep painting
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(MOLALLA, Ore.) - The most frequent comment by those ignorant of the medical properties of cannabis or those believing the U.S. Government's propaganda, is that marijuana patients use it only to get “high” which incidentally can be somewhat like a Starbucks espresso jolt or maybe two or three martinis.

Anybody who knows anything at all about marijuana knows that it causes euphoria or a feeling of well being. After all, isn’t that why we take medicine when we are sick—to feel better?

At any rate, marijuana users, as medical patients of which there are at least 400,000 with legal permits, or as many as ten million “illegal” users who use it instead of alcohol, tobacco, prescription tranquilizers or antidepressants, have found it beneficial for a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.

It is certain that the euphoria or feeling of comfort is very important for all these conditions. If some ignorant people consider that to be getting high, no users will disagree.

Many medical patients use it only in the evening to enable them to sleep. This is true especially with those in chronic pain, which represents about 70 percent of patients. Pain frequently or even most usually prevents sleep and some patients tell me, “if I can get a decent night’s sleep, I can fight alligators all day”.

Sleeping pills are prescribed mostly for those in pain who cannot sleep without those pills. The crazy thing about this is that many or maybe most sleeping pills are as addicting as heroin. Valium, the most prescribed sleeping pill for many years, produced millions of addicts, and there are many valium-like drugs with similar problems.

In my experience with 4,000 plus patients, I was told by hundreds that by using marijuana they were able to cut down or eliminate completely most prescription sleeping pills.

The U.S. Government purports that marijuana is addicting. This is not so. If a person uses it frequently to relieve or control pain, the patient wants relief. Does that mean he is addicted to relief? If one takes aspirin everyday, is he addicted to aspirin? To me, the comparison is valid.

One of the critical signs of addiction is uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Most marijuana users will run out of their medicine once in a while. Do they get withdrawal symptoms? If so, they are very minor, like running out of aspirin.

It is known that very heavy marijuana use (which is uncommon because it costs more than gold) can cause mild withdrawal symptoms, such as disrupted sleep and nervousness (from Merck Manual).

I think the final coup de grace is also given by the Merck Manual “any drug which causes euphoria and diminishes anxiety can cause dependence” (not addiction—my comment).

Phillip Leveque is a physician, toxicologist and WWII Combat Infantryman. Watch for his video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King.
You can email your questions to the doctor:

Other articles and video segments about medical marijuana on

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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mat May 25, 2011 1:55 pm (Pacific time)

I have chronic pain and am very thankful to have weed it helps me sleep and takes away some of the pain not all of it

S. LaMarche; June 28, 2007 5:55 am (Pacific time)

Legalize It!

Jeff June 28, 2007 2:55 am (Pacific time)

A very aptly written letter. I agree whole heartedly with what you have written here. Keep up the fight, one day we will win! Peace be with you...

MrsRoadRunner June 27, 2007 5:23 pm (Pacific time)

Very well said! Not only does it allow us mmj patents to be able to sleep, but it takes away night terrors as well! This story made it's way to Oregon green free, where I pushed on a link to come over and read the article, glad I did! Have a great day!

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