Medical Marijuana: A California Success Story

Medical Marijuana: A California Success Story
Posted by CN Staff on May 24, 2007 at 06:58:28 PT
By Dr. Phillip Leveque for 
Source: Salem News
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!The Oregon crop value is estimated at one billion dollars and the British Columbia crop between ten and twenty billion dollars.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. Despite all this, there are about 30 California physicians who openly advertise their services and some have as many as 19,000 patients though most are in the low two thousands. 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 absolutely 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.Secondly, the headlines are that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are at an increased risk for suicide. This should not be a surprise as suicide is the ultimate symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is certain the VA medical system is broke and dysfunctional, just like the entire war effort. The Associated Press reports over 30,000 veteran suicides since 2001. THE WORST IS YET TO COME. Been there, seen that! 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. Note: 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.You can email your questions to the doctor: newsroom salem-news.comSource: Salem News (OR)Author: Philip Leveque, Salem-News.comPublished: May 23, 2007Copyright: 2007 Website: newsroom salem-news.comRelated Articles:MMJ: The Replacement for Very Dangerous Drugs Treatment for PTSD Should Include Cannabis
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on May 24, 2007 at 21:37:41 PT
This Bugs Me As Governments Keep Fighting Cannabis
Ontario wineries get $10m subsidy program, Hamilton Spectator, (May 24, 2007)
"We want to celebrate the growth of one of Ontario's most vibrant industries," Takhar told a small group at the Peninsula Ridge Winery.What about drunk driving accidents, wife beating, bar fights, and child abuse? Governments actively promote alcohol, while fighting even medical cannabis.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 24, 2007 at 18:12:36 PT
nuevo mexican 
The votes are known now and I'm feeling much better.
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Comment #5 posted by nuevo mexican on May 24, 2007 at 13:22:11 PT
Please call Congress and stop the occupation!
the Dems are imploding, Karl Rove must be in hog heaven, and George Bush is yee-hawing his way around the globe!Tell the Dems you will NEVER vote for them again if they pass bushes bullshit bill!Here's the number, you've got no excuse!(202-224-3121)Thanks in advance!WHAT CAN WE DO?1) Make those calls to Congress today (202-224-3121). Yes, they do make a difference!!2) Use this Memorial Day as an opportunity to ask your members of Congress -- how many more U.S. soldiers will we be honoring next year for making the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq? Isn't it time for those we elected to truly represent us and use their power to end this war? Use any means you can to ask these questions! Letters to the editor, signs hanging from highway overpasses, banners and signs at parades, speeches, your front lawn. Your members of Congress will be in their home districts next week, so be sure to visit and call their local offices. Don't let them return to Washington without hearing your voice and feeling your frustration! Get the message out!3) Download, copy and circulate the People's Emergency Funding Bill, and use it as a tool to help you talk to people.4) Check our calendar for activities over the Memorial Day weekend and the coming weeks, and please be sure to post any events you are organizing or know about on there too! If you're in the Northeast, join the protest against Dick Cheney's graduation speech at West Point on Saturday, 5/26.5) After you've visited your members of Congress in their local offices, if you can, follow them back to Washington! Peace activists are surging on the Capitol with Marine mom Tina Richards to keep the pressure on Congress throughout June and July. UFPJ member group CODEPINK is hosting an activist house and trainings over the summer. And there's still time for students to apply to attend the one-week Iraq Action Camp, June 10-14, sponsored by Campus Progress Action and Move On Civic Action.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 24, 2007 at 09:10:29 PT
nuevo mexican 
I heard Keith's comment last night on MSNBC. It made me smile. 
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Comment #3 posted by nuevo mexican on May 24, 2007 at 08:43:35 PT
Vocal protests in the background of bushtalk!
Off topic: We've got alot more work to do, bush must have life-threatening goons at the door of the Democratic leadership, Nancys' kids and grandkids are her concern, and the guy who's killed 655.000 Iraqis IS a terrorist, and we are guilty in our complictiy when we do NOTHING!Wake up, bake up, and get active now, your false sense of security is FALSE!Live on CNN, anti-bush protester interrupting bushes message!Awesome!Also, let's spend some time today letting the Dems know they caved, and we won't have any on it!Watch Keith Olberman and tell me you are NOT pissed at the Dems, and then call your Reps, and congress-critters please!Special Comment: “The only things truly “compromised” are the trust of the voters…friends, and family, in Iraq”'s How to Follow Today's Big Iraq Vote
by davidsirota
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on May 24, 2007 at 07:51:19 PT
Reader's Digest 
Speaking of our terribly flawed medical system, I was just reading Readers' Digest in the waiting room yesterday and saw a big article on medical error in the US. Apparently RD has been waging a steady campaign on this issue. If you Google "readers digest medical error" you can read some of the material. Most of it talks about the arrogance of doctors and the paramilitary-style heirarchy they cling to as being the most damaging problems with our system. In the article I read, a 15 year old boy died after chest surgery. The opiate pain killer, something like Tromadol, had burned a hold through his stomach and he bled to death, right there in his hospital bed in Charleston, SC.His parents were there all night, he complained of horrible abdominal pain. The night-shift doctors were residents working a 24-hour shift. They told him it was constipation and gave him a suppository. They refused the parents' desperate pleas to call the attending physician & wake him up, because they were afraid of pissing him off. When he came in the next day, the kid went into cardiac arrest and died. He slowly bled to death overnight. The hospital paid the parents $1 million for their son's life.This happens to 100,000 people per year in the US. Another 100,000 are killed outright by prescription drugs. The raw arrogance of the male ego-dominated system is disgusting to me, and we have to acknowledge that it is hugely responsible for cannabis still being illegal.That's why I have the utmost respect for people like Dr. Leveque and Dr. Mikurayi, who spent their lives trying to work within this awful system to make it better.Well, look at this, you can read it for yourselves
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on May 24, 2007 at 07:40:56 PT
Go Phillip Go!
There's nothing better than watching the government, doctors, and Big Pharm try to shut someone up behind the scenes, only to watch them shout even louder. You have to have faith that human good will triumph over evil. It's the only way we've made it this far. Dr. Leveque is showing us all the way to stand up for what is right. Never give up! Never be silenced!Speaking of never being silenced, I see that Steve Kubby is running a presidential campaign!
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