Maine DHHS denies bid to make marijuana legal for Tourette’s

December 26th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

9:12 AM

Maine DHHS denies bid to make marijuana legal for Tourette’s

Advocates say they will keep trying for approval after an Ellsworth man’s request to make the syndrome a qualifying condition is rejected with no explanation.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Peter Hasty said if he couldn’t use marijuana to control severe muscular tics caused by Tourette’s syndrome, he would be confined to his home in Ellsworth.

“I would not be able to go out the door,” Hasty said. “It (marijuana) has vastly improved my quality of life.”

Although medical marijuana is legal in Maine, Tourette’s syndrome is not one of the conditions permitted for treatment, so for now Hasty has to obtain marijuana illegally if he wants to use it to control the disease.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services this week denied a request by Dr. Dustin Sulak to add Tourette’s syndrome to the list of qualifying medical conditions that marijuana use is allowed to treat.

Sulak, who prescribes medical marijuana out of his Falmouth practice, said a denial letter signed by Mary Mayhew, health and human services commissioner, arrived on Christmas Eve without any explanation for the decision.

A panel including four doctors gave a recommendation to Mayhew, after a hearing that Sulak and Hasty testified at in November.

Sulak said no one from the opposing side testified.

DHHS offices were closed on Tuesday, and Mayhew could not be reached for comment.

If Tourette’s syndrome had been added to the list of qualifying conditions, patients would have

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Maine_DHHS_denies_bid_to_make_medical_marijuana_legal_in_treating_Tourette_syndrome_.html

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