Dr. Phillip Leveque – Oregon Medical Cannabis Pioneer Still Advocating at 92


“I have been studying the medical use of marijuana since 1950 and I am very proud of the fact that I essentially introduced medical marijuana to the state of Oregon.” – Dr. Phillip Leveque, Doctor of Pharmacology/World War II Veteran

A high school student interviews Dr. Phillip Leveque about his experience with marijuana/cannabis and legalization.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Dear Dr. Leveque, I am a sophomore at Lee’s Summit North High School. I have contacted you today because we need to “interview” someone over our topic (my topic being the legalization of medicinal Marijuana) and my first choice was to talk to you.

The best way to start is at the beginning, so here is some background on Dr. Phillip Leveque, direct from the source.

From Dr. Phillip Leveque:

Dr. Phillip Leveque
Photo: Salem-News.com

My first exposure to marijuana was in 1928. I was a newspaper boy in southern Oregon and there were about 40 newspaper boys. I happened to be the youngest one. White, American boys were smoking cigarette butts that they picked up on the street.

Mexican boys were smoking loco weed that was rolled up like a cigarette. I didn’t know what loco meant at first, I actually thought it had to do with a locomotive! It took me about 10 years to catch up.

My next exposure was in 1949 when I started at the University of Oregon medical school.

My professor told me to go straighten out the stock room so we could find stuff we were looking for. The first thing I found was a gallon jug of marijuana/cannabis cough medicine. This was 12 years after any marijuana/cannabis substance was legal in the United States. And there it was, in the U of O medical school!

I took a pint bottle of it myself, and the first cold I had I took a teaspoon of it and it worked very well.

From that day in 1949 to this day, in 2014, I have spent much of my time reading about the pharmacology and medical uses of the drug. About 65 years. Nobody else in the United States has studied marijuana as medicine as long as this.

My next exposure was about 1996. I was one of the lead petitioners to legalize marijuana for medical use in Oregon in 1998.

It became medically legal on May 1, 1999. My first patients were about May 5th, 1999; their permits were #13 & #14. Today, there are over 50,000 legal medical marijuana patients in Oregon. In my experience, believe it or not, there were thousands of people who were already using it for medical reasons! This was not unusual. It has been used in Asian medicine for at least 4000 years very successfully with minimal adverse side effects.

Even today, we have minimal side effects. Approximately 10% of marijuana/cannabis users become dependent (the word is not ‘addicted’), and only about 10% of that amount of users does it become a problem for. That’s about 1% of all marijuana users that may eventually have an “addiction” issue.

A student from Lee’s Summit North High School in MO has asked for an interview about my experience with marijuana/cannabis.

His first question is:  

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