Dr. Phillip Leveque is a Professor of Pharmacology.
Scene from the propaganda film, ‘Reefer Madness’
(PORTLAND, OR) – I had hoped that Oregonian reporter Noelle Crombie had run out of ‘bad’ incorrect things to say about Oregon’s very successful medical marijuana program, but she continues with more vehemence than helpful information.
The December 30 2012 Oregonian headline was, ‘Fast-Track Pot Cards’ which is totally false with two pictures of one of the foremost marijuana doctors in the state if not the nation. Dr. Thomas Orvald is a retired heart surgeon with about 3,000 successful heart surgeries including 20 complete transplants under his belt, but now one of the most successful, prominent marijuana doctors. She had precious little good to write about him. Crombie doesn’t say so, but at least 3,500 physicians have signed applications for about 56,000 patients. I presume the inference is that we are all corrupt and bad. Among these “pot doctors” are 37 who have signed for 450 or more patients which is another bad sign.
Ms. Crombie’s assertion, that the procedure is fast-tract, is totally absurd. It is not only very arduous for both physician and patient, but after that it still costs more than $200 in two or more months to get the permit card from the state office. She makes several other false statements as well. She fails to state the conditions set up by the Oregon state Dept. of Human Services (DHS) for which a patient can get a permit. These are, stating for the largest number and current statistics: severe pain – 56400; multiple sclerosis/spasms – 15,211; severe nausea – 8355; cancer – 2253; epilepsy – 1425; Cachexia – 1096; Glaucoma – 900; HIV/AIDS – 776; Alzheimer’s – 64. For all of these diseases, the patients say that marijuana gives better relief than any of the standard pharmaceuticals.
Crombie says none of the marijuana doctors is a specialist in addiction treatment or pain management. We marijuana doctors know that marijuana is better and safer than morphine-like drugs, Valium-like drugs, or anti-depressants. Addiction doctors treat those patients but not marijuana patients.
Medical marijuana was never planned to be specifically for critically ill patients dying from cancer or HIV/AIDS, as she remarks. Crombie states that doctors should discuss the risks and benefits of the drug. This is foolish. Most patients know well the benefits and that the risks are miniscule.
Doctor Rick Bayer, a medical marijuana advocate, was one of the first legal patients for medical marijuana and he assumed other doctors would wake up and approve. He himself does not sign up patients! He says, “Leveque, you treat the patients and I’ll do the political stuff“.
Doctor Alan Bates, an Oregon state senator, and osteopathic physician, has signed a few applications. He might be surprised to know that at least 200 osteopaths, including several of the high signing doctors, are marijuana doctors. Doctor Orovald, the subject of this article, like most other marijuana doctors, uses previous doctor’s diagnoses, drug history records, before signing applications.
The Oregon Medical board is behind charging medical doctors with allegations of unprofessional conduct, repeated negligence, and keeping inadequate records, and have revoked several marijuana doctor’s licensees. They have hired guns, not members of the board, who are paid large amounts of money to stage these usually unsubstantiated charges. It appears they make these charges against random doctors usually in one-man clinics, because they know that a single doctor does not have the finances to combat them.