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May-23-2008 07:56printcomments

Autism Ritalin and Cannabis

Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist. He is an expert in medical marijuana treatment.


(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I wrote a recent article: Autism, ADD, ADHD and Marijuana Therapy, in which I reported that California Medical Marijuana doctors had reported successful treatment of such children with marijuana cookies and even by smoking marijuana cigarettes.

I received by email a mixed bag of responses from both extreme ends of the spectrum. One irate response even suggests I was a quack for recommending it.

I would like to reassure my readers that under Oregon law, to which I had to adhere, I neither recommended, approved nor prescribed marijuana despite what the New York Times printed.

The patients (99%) were using and wished to become legal. Oregon law requires a specific diagnosis of certain medical conditions, most of which such as epilepsy, require a specialist's diagnosis.

If that physician does not wish to sign the patient's application form for religious, moral, ignorance, fear of DEA or other reasons, the patient must find a physician willing to sign the application based explicitly on the specialist's diagnosis. I was one of those 2,699 physicians and I signed for about 5,000 patients.

All my applications were approved. I don't think any of us 2,600 doctors consider ourselves "quacks", progressives probably. At any rate, we have signed for 20 thousand patients.

Now getting to Ritalin which has been prescribed for these children since about 1970. I remember it and I said, "why would a brain stimulant be prescribed for a hyperactive child- well it worked! Amphetamine (Dexedrine) had been used before but that was grabbing a "tiger by the tail."

Ritalin was considered a junior grade stimulant compound to amphetamine and worked adequately for these children.

Medicine takers discovered and still consider that if one pill is good, two should be better and three or more better yet. Then there comes the tiger. RITALIN HAS CAUSED ABOUT 300 DEATHS FROM OVERDOSE.

The use of cannabis/marijuana, medical or for kicks, has never killed anyone and if anyone knows different I will gladly pay you $5.

Many parents have written in that marijuana cookies work great for Autism, ADD and ADHD and I am only the messenger By and large, the prescription drugs are minimally effective, have BAD side effects or may be deadly. Marijuana/cannabis will be the new drug for these children. Wanna bet?

Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
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More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
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 Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Bruce April 11, 2012 9:51 pm (Pacific time)

 Editor: Are you truly addressing our esteemed writer with this tone? You think Dr. Leveque is against the use of cannabis for the treatment of autism?  Are you  alive?    This is Dr. Phil Leveque who has suffered for his advocacy of this treatment and who the hell are you 'Bruce' to act like such a confused dickwad?   I would normally just flush a comment that begins like this but I'll write this preface instead.  In Oregon, doctors sign permits for medical marijuana permits.  They don't prescribe it and they don't approve it, nor may they 'recommend' it.  You misunderstand the law and are disrespectful to one of the nation's most distinguished advocates for cannabis, an old friend of the oldest and most well known people in the movement, some of whom are no longer with us.  He fought the Nazi's in WWII and he fights for patients as a writer on our team today for all mankind and I resent your approach.  

What kind of self-righteous, ignorant, myopic doctor would dismiss medical cannabis in an autistic child or adult suffering for years and who hasn't responded to conventional medications? Autism is rooted in neurotransmitter dysfunction. Medical research shows certain strains of marijuana enhance 5HtP 1, which is a receptor known to be dysfunctional in autism and epilepsy. Moreover, Indica strains increase dopamine which increases focus.Medical marijuana is one of the most effective drugs for autism. But, again, it's important to use the right strains. Some strains are contraindicated in autistic brain. Go for Hybirds, which are half sativa/half indica and HIGHER in CBD's NOT THC. Doctors should educate themselves on the mechanism of action of medical cannabis before so casually and self-righteously dismissing this drug. Funny how the same doctors who poo poo medical cannabis have no problem prescribing Haldol, risperdal, thorazine, mellaril, seroquel, zyprexa or abilify. Yet research shows ALL of the anti psychotics are "largely ineffective" for treating autism.

Henry Ruark May 24, 2008 8:27 am (Pacific time)

To all:
Happens we-as-family had encounter with Ritalin for one child, with affects causing rapid withdrawal.
IF we then knew what many know-now, due in part to good Dr. Leveque, we might well have avoided long, tough, "bad situation" it took years to offset.
Shared here for what it may possibly be worth to others...

Richard P Steeb May 23, 2008 1:10 pm (Pacific time)

I BET you're right! If methamphetamine [aka Desoxyn] is O.K. for the kiddies, you've got to be alright with mankind's oldest medicinal herb...

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