PORTLAND, Ore. — About 50 medical marijuana users rallied Monday in support of an elderly doctor who has signed 40% of approved applications for medical marijuana and is under investigation by health officials.
The American Civil Liberties Union joined protesters Monday in questioning the legality of tighter state guidelines for patients who want to use the drug for certain illnesses, including glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and AIDS.
The new rules were inspired by Dr. Phillip Leveque, a 77-year-old osteopath who has signed more applications for medical marijuana than any other doctor under Oregon's 2-year-old medical marijuana law.
About 935 medical marijuana applications approved by the state have been signed by Leveque--in some cases, after he reviewed faxed medical records and talked to patients by phone.
"Because he's devoted the rest of his life to help people who need medical marijuana, he's being targeted. They're holding up 800 applications because Leveque has put himself out there basically as a patriot," said Pamela Snowhite-Day, a protester who smokes marijuana to calm her multiple sclerosis and degenerative spine disease.