The final days of ‘Pot Doc’ Phil Leveque

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HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — When asked how he wants to be remembered, Dr. Phil Leveque was quick with his answer.

“Pot doc.”

Pot doc is just one of his nicknames. In the 1990s, he was also dubbed the Most Dangerous Man in Oregon.

Dr. Phil Leveque, who more than anyone pushed through Oregon's legalized medical marijuana law in 1999, reflected on his life and life's work, Feb. 24, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

The well-known and somewhat controversial doctor who helped legalize medical marijuana in Oregon is in hospice care in Happy Valley.

He said he feels like people are finally catching up to what he’s been advocating for years, and he is proud of that.

“Pretty good for a Hood River farm boy,” he said.

Leveque’s friends say he has dedicated his life to helping others even in the face of controversy.

“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.”

With a Ph.D in pharmacology and toxicology, Leveque helped legalize medical marijuana in Oregon in 1999. At the time, he granted thousands of medical marijuana cards, which caught the attention of the medical board.

His medical license was revoked in 2004, which ended his career as a doctor.

Dr. Phil Leveque in 2005. More than anyone, he pushed through Oregon's legalized medical marijuana law in 1999. (KOIN 6 News, file)

Asked if it was worth it, he did not hesitate.

“Hell, yes,” he said. “If I hadn’t done this, nobody else would have. You bet, you bet.”

He feels vindicated in his efforts and pointed to last November’s 56-43% vote to legalize recreational pot in Oregon, which takes effect in July.

“Heck, yes, 10 years ago, it was poison and very addicting.”

Leveque, who turned 92 last Sunday, said it’s just “like 91, only a little older.” He shared his life’s reflection.

“Well, I didn’t expect to live through World War 2, so every day since May 7, 1945 has been a gift.”

And when asked what he’s most proud of, he said, “Surviving until I was 92, I think.”

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