Tuesday May 21, 2013
Pot Foe Dwight Leans Right but he's Not RightTim King Salem-News.com
Our medical expert, Dr. Phil Leveque, says Dwight Holton's position on marijuana is a disservice to PTSD Veterans.
(SALEM) - (Update: He lost!) A new article by Simon Owens, Assistant Managing Editor of US News & World Report: Why The Oregon Attorney General Race Has National Implications For Marijuana Laws, explores the Oregon Gubernatorial race and Dwight Holton's trend toward deriding and re-criminalizing medical marijuana.
I use the word trend because Mr. Holton has stated that he supports the program, but I think that might be a wee stretch of the truth from Dwight. Read between the lines and you will see his real position is at best, one of distrust. He sees bad guys in the shadows and it is all very needless.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) is restrictive in nature when compared to California's legal provision for medical pot, and by all accounts has been an extremely successful program.
This is the point our esteemed writer, Dr. Phillip Leveque, who helped Oregon establish its progressive medical cannabis legislation, has stood by for years.
Those who analyze the way police and a handful of politicians (who are becoming very close to the same thing) attack this law, see a pattern of intense money-based interest.
Those who appreciate seeing prisons overflowing with non-violent medical marijuana patients averaging 45 in age, probably support Holton, but his version of legal justice and the average Oregon residents' are indeed miles apart. He seems more like a relic of the Bush era.
Dr. Leveque can tell you incredible stories about the patients he signed medical marijuana permits for. One was a Marine helicopter pilot shot down multiple times during the Vietnam War. He suffered terrible physical injuries and was addicted to several 'legal' prescription drugs when he finally arrived at Dr. Leveque's office for the first time. Doc says he was a mess and hated his addictions
In a fairly short period of time, that retired military officer, who had never considered the positive side of cannabis, was able to either terminate or greatly reduce the use of every hard drug he was on, as he increasingly found ways to use marijuana for relief. This by the way, is a matter of much contrast. Prescription drugs kill people every day in shocking numbers and marijuana is not fatal.
Political Attorney Versus Medical Expert
The people like Holton are, in the bigger picture, the reason most citizens know so little about medical marijuana.
They say things about it that simply aren't true, and "they" retaliate like mad against anyone having success with the legalization of marijuana. Dr. Leveque is a Professor of Pharmacology and a Forensic Toxicologist with an extremely distinguished career.
Before that he was in General Patton's Army fighting the Nazi's in WWII. After training doctors all over the world and working as a medical examiner, he went back to college and became an Osteopathic Physician. This is when he began increasingly treating Combat Veterans with PTSD; (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) something he has lived with personally, since fighting in WWII, more than 66 years ago.
Oregon's medical board took his license to practice away because of a simple, tiny error that in no way substantiated the radical, career-ending action. This is the retaliation I often refer to from the anti-marijuana crowd. They're dishonest and they play dirty.
Concluding that point, it seems clear that Dwight Holton and other prosecutors like Josh Marquis on the north coast, dismiss proven medical science documenting marijuana's medicinal value, and I think Dr. Leveque knows vastly more about it and he does not personally use marijuana, he never has to any extent, beyond a little experimenting years ago.
This included a bottle of cannabis cough syrup on a back shelf at the Oregon Medical School back in the 50's. The product was made back when marijuana was an extremely common ingredient in medicine, before the Tax Act of 1937 suddenly criminalized the herb. This is because Dow and DuPont, two companies with the moral fiber of Purdue Pharma, wanted to market synthetic rope. They had to do away with the natural rope product, again cannabis, or hemp in this application; one of the strongest natural fibers known to man. The criminalization of pot made room for heavy polluting factories to replace the natural product. Those were Dwight Holton's ideological ancestors pulling a number on the citizens also. Speaking of Holton's ancestors, I found this part of his history in Simon Owen's article interesting:
So there you have it Oregon; he is a federal product from the state that is a full on fed fest. His background of east coast politics naturally conflicts with the peaceful, easy going nature of Oregon which is very strong in spirit, in spite of the layers of corruption that invade our courts, jails and prisons.
I commend his work as a prosecutor and I know they all climb the ladder, that is how it works; but Oregon is a very corrupt state politically and Ellen Rosenblum seems like a great match for Oregon's needs.
In fact the whole race between Rosenblum and Holton now seems to almost center around the marijuana issue, and if that is true then I don't think she will have trouble being elected. People are tired of the harsh politics, by all accounts the want to have an honest government, where elected officials represent the will of the voters.
There is a whole other side to this argument that the majority of people gloss over. This plant has a huge number of uses; food fuel, clothing; all manner of products. There are also other components that have a positive impact on health in addition to THC they include CBC (Cannabichromene) and CBD (Cannabidiol), for example. It is also noteworthy that some of these are found in the male planet which has low levels of THC and consequently, little intoxication effect.
It can be eaten in a number of ways or made into tea; used in a vaporizer which is considered the safest approach for a person's lungs; or of course smoked which is the historic way. Marijuana can be made into hash, which is widely used in Europe and Asia, and also in the U.S.
It allows people freedom; with marijuana they can escape drugs, and therein lies the lunacy of Dwight Holton's irrational, even demented thinking. Marijuana has never killed anyone, why does this not count for more?
Pot's Not the Problem, Legal Drugs Are
And this is where our Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek enters the picture. While Salem-News.com has treated medical marijuana in a serious way from the start, we also are the home of one of the nation's most powerful advocates against the scourge of big pharma, Purdue Pharma... and the deadly drug frequently prescribed by doctors, OxyContin.
Marianne's article have shaken Purdue time and time again, and that's good because she can never take from this company, what it took from her. Marianne's daughter Jill died just over ten years ago. She was not a drug addict, but she was sick; prescribed OxyContin, and died of an Oxycontin-related respiratory failure.
Marianne helped convict the top Purdue officials later in federal court, for having marketed OxyContin as 'non-lethal' and 'non-addictive'.
The attorney who prevented those top officials from going to prison, was Eric Holder. He wasn't able to prevent Purdue's designation as a 'criminally convicted company' though.
Purdue, one of the chief beneficiaries of Dwight Holton's politics, does not want marijuana to be legal. Natural medicine after all, greatly impacts the bottom line of these drug dealers. People who heal themselves with medical marijuana stop needing all of those addictive drugs and marijuana is not physically addictive.
I will say that people become mentally addicted to the herb because it is in so many cases, such a powerfully successful remedy, mentally as well as physically.
Why Doesn't Holton Consider Veterans?
One of the groups Holton's positions deals the hardest blow to, is the military veteran living in Oregon. A large number of PTSD-afflicted vets use marijuana every single day.
Oregon's rigid medical marijuana law doesn't allow PTSD users a permit, however many have physical issues that go with the package and the often get permits. Those who haven't been in a combat zone may not understand, but it is a traumatic experience and those willing to put their life on the line for their nation will suffer under Holton's program.
Of course people have always smoked pot, they always will, the law has only sent people to prison, it hasn't curbed use in any way. We live in an age when nearly every Oregon family has a member that uses pot. They belong at your next reunion, not in prison.
Again, it comes down to the simple question;
I have to say that I do admire Holton's claim about battling illegal Internet porn and human trafficking so gallantly as he ads claim. However I find great discomfort with his claim that he will enforce federal law in Oregon; that seems so contrary to what matters in this age of Oregon state law only being recognized by the feds when it matches the needs of the big money, corporate right-wing agenda; which medical marijuana and assisted suicide, both fail to do.
I appreciate Simon Owens with US News & World Report for sending Dr. Leveque a heads up about his new article, the link is below and I strongly recommend reading it.
US News & World Report, Why The Oregon Attorney General Race Has National Implications For Marijuana Laws
Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.
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