Don LaRouche was diagnosed with glaucoma six years ago. A year later he was given a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana to treat his glaucoma, muscle spasms, and chronic pain. “I’ve had a fusion in my back. It’s obviously getting worse, it’s not going to get any better,” LaRouche said. “I’ve been to a surgeon and those were his exact words; you’re not going to get any better.”
Maine has allowed prescribing, and limited possession, of medical marijuana since 1999. Maine voters overwhelmingly approved Miane’s Medical Marijuana Act back in November of 2009, allowing the cultivation of medical marijuana under the close supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services.
For financial reasons LaRouche has been growing his own medicinal marijuana. “I can’t afford to go to pay a caregiver or go to one of the dispensaries,” LaRouche said from his Madison home.
Due to his various ailments, LaRouche is unable to work. He receives disability benefits, including rental housing assistance known as “Section 8.” For the past five years, LaRouche says inspectors from Maine State Housing have had no problem with him growing and using his medical marijuana. “They came in and inspected it and they took pictures of my I.D. card. They would all say we have no problem with this, it’s the Maine law. Maine State Housing Inspectors telling me this,” he said.
But now Maine State Housing is singing a different tune.