Journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical
Oregon Bills Dr. Leveque
Phil Leveque, the Oregon doctor who unstintingly authorized cannabis
use by patients in the early days following legalization —when
almost all his colleagues were afraid to do so— has received
a bill from the State Board of Medical Examiners to pay for his own
prosecution. The bill is for $21,127.10.
Leveque’s license was suspended for three months in 2002 because
he hadn’t been conducting physicals (which were not explicitly
required) or keeping patients’ charts (for security reasons)
after mailing them to the office that administers Oregon’s
card program. The Board then insisted on physical exams, and Leveque
a physician assistant to conduct them when he resumed practice in
a clinic setting where record-keeping was meticulous.
His license was suspended again in December 2004, and revoked earlier
this year. After a lengthy investigation, the Board ruled that
the exams conducted under Leveque’s supervision were too perfunctory,
and that he had violated the “standard of care” in his
treatment of six patients. None of the patients had complained about
their care. According to Ann Witte, the lawyer handling Le-veque’s
appeal, all the complaints a-gainst him came from doctors annoyed
that he had enabled their patients to medicate with cannabis.
You’d think the appeal would stay the bill collectors, but no. “If
you fail to send payment in full or make other arrangements, we
may issue a lien on all of your property, both real and personal.
may then record the lien with your county and/or execute on the
warrant. This means we can garnish your wages, your bank accounts,
your property to pay the debt in full.”
Leveque is 82, recently widowed, a World War II combat infantryman
with a heroic record. He thinks the Board of Medical Examiners, which
is dominated by MDs, is biased not just against marijuana but against
osteopathy. (Leveque is a doctor of osteopathy with a PhD in pharmacology,
which he taught to medical students for much of his career.)
Being billed for your own prosecution seems like the liberal equivalent
of being made to dig your own grave.