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Sep-07-2011 06:05printcomments

Marijuana: Does it Help?

'We need a fuller, clearer, more rational debate on the uses and abuses of marijuana'.

Marijuana leaves

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - This erstwhile headline was stolen from an Oregonian Op-Ed article August 30, 2011 Does Marijuana Help? by Daren Engstrom.

This about the most ignorant article on the subject The Oregonian has ever printed.

Apparently the author, Daren Engstrom, from Bakersfield, Ca talks only to verifiable “Pot heads” or he saw Reefer Madness too many times. He writes that it “could result in moral decay in our society”.

What Mr. Engstrom certainly does not know is that there are about 3500 Doctors in Oregon who have signed applications for patients and secondly The Oregon Medical Board is very much against Dr. participation and has “lowered the boom” on several suspicious Drs.

I can’t say anything about California but I do know it is the “Wild West”. I believe physicians are at least 90% ethical and performing a valuable medical service.

There are about 16 states in which Medical Marijuana may be legally used under the “direction” of a physician.

I believe that most legal states have from 30,000 to 50,000 legal medical patients representing about 10% of the population. The U.S. Government says about 300,000 Oregonians use Marijuana but only about 50,000 have permits.

I believe the statistics in other states are about the same whether it is legalized or not.

Does Marijuana Help?

Oregonian OPED article August 30, 2011 by Daren Engstrom.

Walking out of a popular store recently, I met a lady who was attempting to talk with the general public, first asking people if they are registered voters, then about their opinion concerning medical marijuana, for or against.  
After a little conversation, she was clearly attempting to have people voice their opinions "for," because she mentioned someone in her family who had gained some benefit.  
I first explained that she might be talking with the wrong person as I have never used drugs in my life. I also explained that if a person was medically diagnosed and needing a chemical, whatever the chemical was, and the diagnosis was legitimate, and the chemical would actually help the patient medically, then I could understand.  
After all, the purpose of medicine is to medically treat an ailing person, but to do no harm. That's why doctors are often wary of using pain killers (especially those involving morphine) more than absolutely necessary because of the danger of addiction.  
After persistence on her part, I explained that I've only known/met a few people in my life who I discovered were using marijuana, and one trend seemed to be present with all of them: They consistently did not tell the truth and had difficulty arguing rationally. Whether that was due to the marijuana, or a personality trait they already had and for which they used marijuana for some comfort, or another reason, I do not know but I can give a pretty good "guess."  
They also seemed to rely on human emotions to support their beliefs rather than logic and reasoning. The topic of medical marijuana needs to be discussed honestly and rationally. If there is a clear usage for it that destroys diseases or prolongs life (or offers serious benefits that another medicine doesn't provide), then maybe there should be more open lines for research.  
However, if the purpose is to prolong someone's dependency and denial, preventing that person from seeing reality, then we need to be very careful. We shouldn't encourage destructive behavior and promote something that could result in the moral decay of our society.  
Daren Engstrom lives in Bakersfield. 

The Oregonian is to be congratulated on printing some responses to his pronouncement. They are a scream and available on stump.

I read and counted comments positive for Medical Marijuana and also counted negative comments. The positive articles indicate a more cerebral outlook while the negatives are more hypothalamic.

There were 35 comments favorable to Medical Marijuana use, 18 obviously negative and 18 in which the comments had little to do with the subject at hand. The rest I couldn’t figure out.

Mr. Engstrom obviously does not know is that Marijuana as Cannabis Medicine was available in all states before 1937. Around 1910 Cannabis was the number one drug prescribed and used in the United States. The whole business was screwed up by the Hearst Newspapers, in which any crime... no matter how trivial was given front page headlines if Marijuana was found anywhere.

Currently about 1,000,000 Americans are arrested every year usually for possession. If they arrest one of ten users, that is 10,000,000 users. If they arrest one of twenty, that 20,000,000 users. The figure is much higher and many are using for medical purposes.


Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist. Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him:

More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Lynsey October 24, 2011 6:11 am (Pacific time)

I think you hit a bulleyse there fellas!

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