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May-19-2007 16:45printcommentsVideo

Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor Tells All: Q&A Part 3 (VIDEO)

This is the second part of a question and answer segment on medical marijuana with Dr. Leveque and Bonnie King of Salem-News.com.

Dr. Phillip Leveque and Bonnie King of Salem-News.com
Dr. Phillip Leveque and Bonnie King of Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor Phillip Leveque joins Salem-News.com's Bonnie King for the third video segment in a continuing, interactive look at the relationship between medical marijuana and a person's health.

The number of users in Oregon is steadily growing, there are now more than 15,000 legal, registered patients who have received a doctor's prescription for medical marijuana.

California, the first state in the union to legalize pot for medical purposes, leads the nation with 350,000 patients. While that number grows exponentially, legal and illegal users face potential consequences in regard to their health. Little information has been provided over the years to inform people of the real, pertinent facts.

Below is a written transcript of the third installment of this special series. It is the second part of a question and answer segment that allows people to email a question to Dr. Leveque at and learn the answer to that question in a future segment with Dr. Leveque and Bonnie King of Salem-News.com.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR. LEVEQUE? Email: newsroom@salem-news.com or simply write a comment at the bottom of the page. You do not have to use your real name if you are not comfortable doing so. We will do our best to have your questions addressed in upcoming segments.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Salem-News.com does not advocate any illegal activity. This special segment is geared completely toward exploring the legal use of marijuana as a medical treatment. Dr. Phillip Leveque's opinions and advice are intended only as such, and his statements are strictly his own, and do not represent the opinions or policies of Salem-News.com.

This is the full transcript from the video. You will see the video screen when you scroll to the bottom of the page.

Bonnie: There are 15,000 medical marijuana patients in the state of Oregon, almost 400,000 in the United States. With us today is Dr. Phil Leveque, who will answer questions about the issue of medical marijuana. Hello Dr Leveque, so we've been receiving questions online from Salem-News.com in this continuing segment, and I'm going to go ahead and ask some of the questions from our visitors; now the first question comes from a woman named Judy and her question is; Dear Dr. Leveque I'm a menopausal woman of 55-years old, I have been diagnosed with open end glaucoma. She is a medical marijuana patient, but she doesn't understand how it can lower eye pressure, help does it help glaucoma? And how it helps other patients?

Dr: Leveque: OK, In the the outer edge of the eye is called the canal of Schlemm and it goes from the inside of the eye to the outside. In the back of the eye where the retina is, are also blood vessels that also secrete a fluid and it flows out of the canal of Schlemm to the outside of the eye and probably provides some of the lubrication for the eye. In glaucoma, this canal of Schlemm constricts and the solution in the inside of the eye continues to flow all the time so if it is constricted the pressure goes up, and when it continues to go up it can be extremely painful. It can cause blindness and it can also be so painful that a person's eye has to be removed surgically.

Bonnie: Well this gentleman writes; Hey Doc: I wonder wondering if you can tell me why I can have one joint last for a whole week just taking a couple of tokes every night when others site in awe, he has epilepsy, no doctor has been able to tell him why so little does so much good.

Dr: Leveque: For almost every disease condition, you might say, has a gradation from one to ten with one being very slight and ten being the worst possible. Well, obviously this man has maybe a one, two or a three or something like that and so if he gets relief from a couple of tokes, he is very lucky with marijuana at $400 an ounce

Bonnie: Another question is about he actual strains of marijuana. Some people have commented, indicas have different properties from sativas and that kind of thing.

Dr: Leveque: There are probably 200 or more sub strains of marijuana, of both sativa and indica and they're all a little bit different;. So if you're lucky, if a patient is lucky, he's are going to find the right strain pretty quickly, if not they're going to have a lot problems.

Bonnie: So this next gentleman writes; Dear Dr. Leveque: I had my right arm amputated at the shoulder, cup and all removed after having seven surgeries over a ten year period. The phantom pain in my fingers is overpowering, my hand often moves inside my chest (The man explained to Salem-News.com that he can feel the pain from his missing fingers as if the nerves are still connected) which is not easy to deal with and the pain is awful. By the way it is being managed by an anesthesiologist but his question is; would marijuana help him in any without having to deal with the side effects of the narcotics he is taking.

Leveque discusses phantom pain, which he also experiences
from a missing fingertip

Dr: Leveque: Absolutely, I have phantom pain myself, the tip of my index finger has phantom pain and it bothers me worse when I'm cold. And the tip my finger which is not there hurts like the dickens when I have this phantom pain business, so I know what he's talking about. Neuropathic pain, which means 'damage to the nerves' causes pain, and pain is one of the specific conditions for which marijuana is helpful. Now, at the same time he may have a problem finding the right sativa or the right indica that gives him the best, but I really do believe that marijuana is going to be his best bet for combating phantom pain, absolutely.

Bonnie: And with fewest side effects?

Dr: Leveque: Yeah, I mean, he mentions his use of narcotics and so forth, well he is going to be able to reduce his amount of his narcotics. One of my patients who had war injuries from Vietnam, was up to 480 milligrams of morphine a day and by using marijuana he was able to drop it down to 60! And he has told me many times, 'doctor, you have saved my life', well I believe I did.

Bonnie: Well here is a different one. Justin asks, for older teens with bi-polar disorder, can you get marijuana from the pharmacy instead of all the pills? This os for somebody's son and they were told that it stabilizes moods.

Dr: Leveque: Absolutely, the doctors in California have found out that marijuana works for many psychiatric problems. One thing that I should mention about this is that marinol, which is the prescription item, probably will not work for a really strange reason; First of all you have to take it orally, which means that it takes an hour or an hour and a half to start working. But when it starts working, the liver converts it into the hydroxy THC or the hydroxy marijuana, which causes the high or the euphoria or whatever. So the person is going to have to... I do not recommend that a person smokes it like a cigarette. But that they use a vaporizer which vaporizes the pure medical chemicals and that is what they should be using.

Bonnie: Several people have written for most basic information about what again, how they can get a card. What is the process in getting a medical marijuana permit in the state of Oregon?

Dr: Leveque: Oregon is considerably different from every other state as far as I know. Oregon has the most successful program but at the same time it's the most restrictive, in this way; first of all there are some nine medical conditions for which you can get a permit. But you have to have medical records, chart notes or a doctor's letter to the effect that you have one of these diseases. You phone up the clinic and what they will do is tell you, 'fax us in your medical records, and somebody in the clinic will look them over, and if you have definite medical records to the effect that you have one of these conditions, they will phone you back in a couple of days and give you an appointment, you go see the doctor, have a physical examination and fill out your medical history and so forth, and usually you can be seen within ten days or so, something like that. The clinic visit is about $160 in Portland, I don't know (about) elsewhere but the state fee I believe is a hundred dollars right now and it is good for one year only. Now the strange thing about it is that people who have a medical condition for which medical marijuana is useful, they're going to have it the rest of their lives. So it should be handled like a drivers license or a dog license or whatever. But this is, and the strange thing about it is that about two or three years ago, the state medical marijuana office had a million dollars in the bank, so the state legislators stole $900,000 worth.

Salem-News.com's Bonnie King

Bonnie: Well I understand that was a big contribution by the marijuana patients of Oregon to the state of Oregon.

Dr: Leveque: Well, I think that's an interesting comment that you make. What I think is this; that the sick Oregonians are paying an extra tax, the very sick Oregonians are paying an extra tax which the legislature is grabbing onto. This is, outrageous is the right word for this.

Bonnie: So somebody that has a permit, renews it once a year, and they just go through that process every year?

Dr: Leveque: Pretty much so, yes.

Bonnie: Well it does sound a little bit complicated, but it sounds like there are only so many steps to it. So, if people have more questions about medical marijuana, getting a medical marijuana permit, or toxicology questions in general, please send them to Salem-News.com, the email address is Email: newsroom@salem-news.com, and we'll be back with Dr. Leveque for more in our ongoing series.

In Salem, I'm Bonnie King For Salem-News.com


WATCH THE VIDEO WITH SALEM-NEWS.COM'S BONNIE KING AND DR. PHILLIP LEVEQUE

Video


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: newsroom@salem-news.com

Other articles and video segments about medical marijuana on Salem-News.com:




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Chris March 2, 2009 4:30 pm (Pacific time)

Im trying to get in contact wit Dr Phillip Levegue i wanna get my medical marijuana card.

Editor: Chris, Dr. Leveque is no longer practicing medicine. I suggest opening the ad for the THC Clinic on this site and you can learn everything you need to know. Dr. Leveque's stories are all found by clicking the link on the front page that reads "Articles by Dr. Phillip Leveque". Thanks


Laurie K. Vona January 20, 2009 11:44 pm (Pacific time)

I NEED TO MAKE APPOINTENT WITH DOCTOR ASAP, CRONIC PILLS FOR YEAR, LOT COVERAGE NEED NATURAL PAIN AND DEPRSSION HELP,


justin April 15, 2008 5:44 am (Pacific time)

Hi suir im doing a report on marijuana and i was wondering if i could ask you some queshtions. How marijuana helps the economy and maby how perscription marijuana helps people and dose it controle or getrid cancer

 

Hello Justin,

 

Feel free to write to us at newsroom@salem-news.com

 

Thanks,

The Editor


kurt torneskog September 7, 2007 11:50 pm (Pacific time)

Hello every one, I used to live in Oregon and I had cancer, The Dr's at the cancer clinic in medford Or. could not stop my vomiting from the cemo and I could not eat even broth. I was not recovering. The doctor finally gave me marinol, and in 20 minutes I finished my dinner. I then became a activist, and soon had the privlage to write a monthly news letter for our group (voter power). I had the oppertunity to work with Dr. Leveque for a couple of months, and I can tell you he worked very hard to help hundreds of suffering patients of many differant ailments. He changed my life so much! I cant tell you the feeling you get when you see and talk to patients of Dr. Leveque and how they have a better life with medical marijuana. It made me feel like a hero to lead them and introduce them to the great Dr.Leveque.. He knows what he is talking about! I have never met a man like him. I am proud to have worked by his side. Now I live in Az. and have no Dr. to help with my eating disorder and depression in life with out marijuana! I can not eat well or sleep with out it, I am moving out of this state to move to Las Vegas Nv., and I hope I can become legal once again! Like most I am afraid of the consaquences of a failed drug war in this country.. Please support the good Dr., by always letting the public know the truth of a safe and affective medicine. I have seen it do wonders, and to my hero, and I am honored to say my friend, Dr. Leveque I praise you forever.. THANK YOU! Sincerely Kurt Torneskog


chris fl June 8, 2007 5:19 am (Pacific time)

Anyways, thanks Dr.Leveque


Mathew June 3, 2007 3:36 pm (Pacific time)

I need help. I come from out of state. I've lived in Oregon for about a year. I was wondering if a psychologist MD would be able to sign my papers? I suffer from OCD and AADD. I also have mild Scoliosis. I do not suffere a lot of pain on a regular basis as long as I have enough medical marijuana. When I have run out of medical marijuana I have gone days with muscles in my back throbing with every movement to the point I lay my head down and cry because I haven't had a day with out pain since I ran out of medacine. My muscles in my back do seem to flare up and tighten for days pulling my spine out of alignment. How ever not often as long as I have enough cannabis to use. Unfortunatly I am afraid to speak vocally about my medical use of marijuana even to doctors. The fear of persecution, the fear of losing my dignity, and the fear of ultimatly losing my freedom; have all contributed to my inability to express my self on my use of medical marijuana. I have almost led a double life keeping my medical marijuana use a secret from family, friends, and many others. I moved to oregon from Arizona. Not just because I love this great state and all the water, but also because of the medical marijuana laws. I do have medical records but I am afraid they do not say enough in regards to my chronic yet mild pain. I have undergone MRIs, X-rays, and ultrasounds trying to find the exact cause and source of my pain with nothing very conclusive.


cardholder June 1, 2007 10:12 am (Pacific time)

The gov is corrupt and that goes down to the local levels. We are waiting for a revolt, for the people to take back this land.


Ashleigh May 24, 2007 8:57 pm (Pacific time)

I thought that his video was very educational. I have been looking into medical marijuana for the past 6 months. I just had one question. How does Marijuana help neurophibromotosis? It is a condition where the nerves in the stomach or where ever they happen to be get little pee like substances on them and push out of my stomach ending in chronic pain and discomfort. Thank you so much. Peace, Ashleigh


Steve from Dallas May 20, 2007 8:02 pm (Pacific time)

Excellent article. This is another reason I choose to remain in Oregon. The OMMP is a model to follow. However, the permit should be valid for more time. Outside of that, I'm pleased with it and the Doctors that step up to help, like the one you just interviewed.


Alex May 20, 2007 11:41 am (Pacific time)

This is VERY good to see, and to have the info be shared publicy! I'm an activist(www.mehemp.org), as well as a cannabis smoker. Being diagnosed at a young age with scholosis, and now in my adult life pain is not something I like to deal with. Realize, legalize, harmonize! Knowledge is power Thanks to Bonnie and Dr. Leveque.


Tim Haas May 19, 2007 9:16 pm (Pacific time)

I find all the news very interesting. Thankyou. Suffering for now 7 years I am looking forward to research and opinons on P.T.S.D. and medical marijuana,as I have stated before but would like also to focuse on the REM state of the mind during dreams. Mine were very horrific before using medical marijuana. Now things have calmed down so much with the use of marijuana. I feel there is a great potiential for people suffering night-terriors wheather related to p.t.s.d.or other ailments,rape,trama events,etc...To Dr. Leveque, Please give input on P.T.S.D. but also the incredible positive results for night-terriors myself and others I have researched with all positive results wonderind, WHY???? Thank-You!!


Albert Marnell May 19, 2007 9:12 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the report Bonnie. Knowledge is power. Each new piece of information raises consciousness and eventually the dam will break.

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