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May-23-2007 17:46TweetFollow @OregonNews
Medical Marijuana: A California Success StoryDr. Phillip Leveque, Salem-News.com
Oxycontin have been fined six hundred million dollars for lying that that it is not addicting. This is a surprise because every physician or pharmacist KNOWS that every morphine-like drug IS addicting.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - California was the first state which legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996 by way of an initiative legal process started by voters' petitioning, and has the most patients with 350,000.
Apparently the legislators were so shocked by the common people's effrontery they were paralyzed. No so the scotch drinking police and sheriffs - they howled like banshees, and have seemingly done everything they could think of to reduce or restrict their highly efficacious medicine.
The various cities and counties of California and almost list in a schizophrenic stand-off about what to do about legally sanctioned marijuana use and dispensaries, (currently there are about 200) where marijuana and even hashish, (a concentrate) can be purchased by patients having a letter from a physician giving them approval for its use. About half of the localities say its OK, others harass, close and confiscate medicine and money. The DEA and some local cops are going frenetic. They even raid legal grow sites. At the same time, the Mexican Mafia and others are farming it wherever they can, usually in remote national forest areas.
As this is written a plantation in northern Idaho was raided. It had 14,000 plants with a street value of $60 million. It is estimated the marijuana crop is the financially most important in the Unites States, and the cops are trying to stop it?
Government officials say the cannabis crop value is $35 million dollars which must be far too low!
In the meantime, the cops with General Barry McCaffrey were working with the boards of Medical Examiners to harass physicians who are writing approval letters for sick patients. Many of the prominent physicians have been charged with violating the Standards of Medical Practice Act, but no one knows what the standards are.
One of the worst examples was a DEA agents' raid at a Santa Cruz cannabis using hospice where elderly disabled patients were handcuffed to their beds while the agents devastated the gardens and patient's rooms.
The local mayor dispensed marijuana on city hall steps the next day, in protest.
Thirty of these marijuana physicians were emailed a request regarding their experiences, and eighteen responded indicating that collectively, they had written about 150,000 approval letters for California's approximately 350,000 legal users.
This stands in sharp contrast to my state of Oregon, where we have about 15,000 medical marijuana patients whose applications were signed by 2,200 known physicians who had to register with the state. In Oregon, ten physicians have signed about ten thousand, or 70% of the applications. (Four of those doctors are in the same clinic.) It is known that around 800 physicians have signed only one application.
Eleven states have some semblance of legal medical marijuana but individual state's rules and regulations are as varied as the state's geography.
It appears that Oregon has the most successful program per capita, but the regulations appear to be the most rigorous because physician and patient records are absoou8tely legally protected, neither the Board of Medical Examiners nor the police or district attorneys can snoop. Apparently this is not the case in California where police pose as fake patients with fake medical records are incessantly harassing the known medical marijuana physicians.
It has turned into a big game but several physicians have been literally destroyed. One physician, Dr. David Bearman, was fined $115,000, another, Dr. Todd MiKuriya, was fined $75,000.
This is "Reefer Madness" at its worst.
While writing this, May 11th, 2007, I am struck by two great news items, first, the makers of Oxycontin have been fined six hundred million dollars for lying that that it is not addicting. This is a surprise because every physician or pharmacist KNOWS that every morphine-like drug IS addicting.
Many California marijuana medical patients were given Oxycontin by previous doctors and furthermore, the Veteran's Administration doctors considered it to be a fine useful medicine.
In the meantime, more and more patients are getting more and more doctors to sign their applications in all medical marijuana states.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other articles and video segments with Dr. Phillip Leveque on Salem-News.com:
Medical Marijuana Doctor Responds to Written Comments (VIDEO) (Originally titled Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor Tells All: Q&A Part 3)
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