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Fort Myers' mega marijuana doc: 'It's gotten huge' - NBC2 News

Found: Fri Nov 08 19:23:11 2019 PST
Webpage: [translate]

topical analysis
prison was NOT mentioned
propaganda analysis

Fort Myers' mega marijuana doc: 'It's gotten huge' - NBC2 News Fort Myers' mega marijuana doc: 'It's gotten huge' - NBC2 News

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Fort Myers' mega marijuana doc: 'It's gotten huge'

A doctor in Fort Myers has prescribed more medical marijuana than any other in Florida, but his success is now raising some concerns.

Thursday, November 7th 2019, 6:43 PM EST by Evan Dean


Friday, November 8th 2019, 9:19 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After serving 20 years in the Navy, veteran Jeff DeMond has the scars to show for it.

"I feel it was like playing pro sports, like football," DeMond said. "I've had four ankle reconstructions. My knee is messed up; my hip is messed up. My right shoulder replaced at 49. My bicep has been torn, my wrist has been reconstructed."

All those injuries -- and all the surgeries that followed them -- once sent DeMond spiraling into opioid addiction.


Upon his retirement from the Navy in 2006, he said he was on 16 medications per day.

"120 milligrams of morphine, 80 milligrams of OxyContin, 6 milligrams of Klonopin. Effexor, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Neurontin," DeMond recalled. "There was nothing behind my eyes. I had no feeling. No care. At all."

But a few years after that came a turning point: DeMond started using marijuana as medicine.

He said he immediately halved his prescriptions, was more active and social, and after only a couple of years was off opioids altogether.

For him, marijuana changed everything.

"I just think about the amount of opioids I was on then -- and how I was using them -- and there's no way I'd be sitting here. No way," DeMond tearfully recalled. "(Marijuana) saved my life."

DeMond moved from Illinois to Florida in 2014, and two years later, the Sunshine State made it official: medical marijuana was legalized.

Now, he's a patient of Dr. Gregory Sonn, who runs the Iona Cannabis Clinic in Fort Myers.

DeMond is just one of many patients.

"It's gotten huge, I would say," Dr. Sonn said of his practice.

"Huge" hardly describes it. In just three years, Dr. Sonn has gone from a small office to six clinics across Southwest Florida.

In fact, the NBC2 investigators discovered he's now the biggest pot prescriber in the entire state.

According to recently released state data, Dr. Sonn issued 4,203 certifications for medical marijuana in a six-month span.

That's nearly double the next closest doctor in Florida, who issued 2,564 certifications.

It's far more than the state average of just 140 certifications per physician.

"I was ecstatic," Dr. Sonn said upon learning of the statistics. "It shows that a lot of hard work is paying off."

But not everyone is ecstatic about the numbers.

A state panel reviewing the data expressed major concern during a meeting in August -- not with Dr. Sonn specifically but with the big prescribers as a whole.

More than half of all certifications were made by just seven percent of physicians.

"I look at this data, and I said, ‘Well, this just another form of a pill mill,'" Dr. Sarvam TerKonda said during a teleconference call for the Physician Certification Pattern Review Panel. "That seven percentage of physicians to me is a real concern. We know that this is really cash-paying."

"That's awful," Dr. Sonn said of TerKonda's "pill mill" comment. "I am getting people off their opiates and benzos."

In an interview with the NBC2 Investigators, Dr. Sonn defended his work. Despite his massive patient numbers, he insists he is running his clinics legally.

"We follow the letter(s) of the law as well as we can -- as we know them. And I say that because up until this point, there's really been no communication between those boards and practicing physicians like myself," Dr. Sonn said. "It would be really nice if they asked us why we're so successful."

The NBC2 Investigators tried to set up interviews with Dr. Terkonda and some of the other review panel members, but the state declined our request.

Now, Dr. Sonn wonders if his success will put him under a microscope.

"I do think its a bit frightening, in a way," he said. "Any time that you deal with some administrative board, there's worry. But again -- I do this 100 percent by the rules. I follow the rules as I know them."

For now, it's unclear what recommendations the state panel might make and how those could impact medical marijuana clinics across Florida.

What is clear is that Dr. Sonn isn't short of supporters -- including Jeff DeMond.

"There's a reason why people buy Coke over RC Cola. It's better. Doc Sonn has a lot of patients because he's knowledgeable," DeMond said.

The review panel, which was put together as part of Florida's medical marijuana law, will meet again next week to go over new data. They are expected to submit a report at the start of the new year with their recommendations to the legislature.

(c) Copyright 2019 WBBH/WZVN (Waterman Broadcasting). All rights reserved.

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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:4 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:20 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:6 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:2 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:0 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:0 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:0 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:2 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 98%
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme7 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
 addiction 60%
[news] [concept]
"addiction"1Twelve-Step Snake Oil (2012)
Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers (Thomas Szasz)
Rat Park
Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied? (2014)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 60%
[news] [concept]

"injuries" addiction1Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme7 : drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or accesstotal prohibition

propaganda theme7 98%
[news] [concept]

"legalized" "marijuana was legalized"2Total Prohibition or Access (propaganda theme 7)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

cannabis addiction narcotic  
[news] [concept]
 drug law
[news] [concept]
"marijuana law"1History of United States drug pr...
 psychoactive chemical

[news] [concept]

 psychoactive plant

[news] [concept]

 psychoactive pharmaceutical

[news] [concept]

clonazepam gabapentin morphine venlafaxine benzodiazepine oxycodone
 opioid narcotic analgesic
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
 euphoric depressant
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
clonazepam benzodiazepine  
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
opiate oxycodone  
[news] [concept]
clonazepam gabapentin  
[news] [concept]
opioid : opiate-like but synthetic drugsopioid

[news] [concept]

"opioid" "opioids" oxycodone3Managing Pain
[news] [concept]
gabapentin benzodiazepine Thomas Szasz Cybercenter for Liberty and Responsibility
medical_cannabis : cannabis for medical usemedical cannabis
[news] [concept]
"medical marijuana" "marijuana was legalized. Now, he's a patient" "marijuana as medicine"
Cannabis Treats Anxiety, Depression And Activates Pathways That Regulate Emotional Behavior (2014)
The Flower (video cartoon)
[news] [concept]
opiate opioid Managing Pain
opiate : a substance derived from the opium poppyopiate
[news] [concept]
"opiates" morphine1Managing Pain
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
"marijuana" "Cannabis" "pot" medical cannabis13Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)

[news] [concept]


[news] [concept]


[news] [concept]


[news] [concept]


[news] [concept]

OxyContin Managing Pain

[news] [concept]

[news] [concept]
Managing Pain
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"official"1Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)
[news] [concept]
"will meet" "a meeting" "meeting" "meet"4TAKE ACTION - Here's how!
Delphi Technique - Fake Consensus (2016)

st:0 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0.02 db:0.153 a:0.38 m:0.14 t:0.88 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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Bot's analysis of: "The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse" the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Demand Reduction Section, May 2014
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    article tags


    meeting concept - scheduled meeting, talk, or conference
    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    OxyContin concept - a time-release oxycodone brand
    venlafaxine concept - Venlafaxine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which is used in the treatment of depression and general anxiety disorder. It is also used off-label to treat a variety of other disorders. ((+/-)-1-[2-(dimethylamino)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl] cyclohexanol)
    oxycodone concept - a type of opioid
    morphine concept - Morphine is an opiate used in the treatment of severe pain. It occurs naturally in the opium poppy and has a long history of human use. ((5a,6a)-7,8-didehydro-4,5-epoxy-17-methylmorphinan-3,6-diol)
    gabapentin concept - Gabapentin is prescribed -- usually in combination with other medications -- for the treatment of seizure disorders, though its anticonvulsant mechanism is not known. It is sometimes prescribed for the management of neuralgia (nerve pain) and has been prescribed off-label for the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, and tardive dyskinesia (a neurological syndrome caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs). (1-(aminomethyl)cyclohexanacetic acid)
    clonazepam concept - Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine and anti-convulsant used in the treatment of seizures and panic disorder. Tolerance develops over time. (5-(2-chlorophenyl)-1,3-dihydro-7-nitro2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one (C15H10ClN3O3))
    benzodiazepine concept - Benzodiazepines are a class of gabaminergic psychoactive chemicals used in the treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders. This class includes alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin) and others. Most benzodiazepine names end in "pam" or "am". (Various)
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    opiate concept - a substance derived from the opium poppy
    narcotic concept - a drug that dulls senses, relieves pain, induces sleep
    medical_cannabis concept - cannabis for medical use
    tranquilizer concept - various tranquilizers and antidepressants
    opioid concept - opiate-like but synthetic drugs
    intoxicant concept
    anticonvulsant concept
    analgesic concept
    sedative concept
    anxiolytic concept
    euphoric_depressant concept
    antidepressant concept
    opioid_narcotic_analgesic concept
    pharms concept - Psychoactive Pharmaceuticals are over-the-counter or prescription chemicals approved for human medicinal use, with mind- or emotion-altering properties
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    drug_law concept
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme7 concept - drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or access
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    addiction concept - addition or drug dependency
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition