DHHS releases reasoning behind denial of medical marijuana use for Tourette’s …

January 9th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services denied the use of medical marijuana to treat Tourette’s syndrome last month because of a dearth of large-scale studies into its effectiveness and side effects, according to a document provided to the Bangor Daily News on Thursday.

A panel of doctors who advise the department’s Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Services said in the written decision that they wanted to see the use of marijuana to treat Tourette’s syndrome studied under standards used by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, one of the state’s leading medical marijuana proponents who led the failed effort to add Tourette’s syndrome to Maine’s list of ailments legally treatable by medical marijuana, criticized the state’s reasoning. He said Thursday that many of the medications already prescribed to Tourette’s syndrome patients are not approved for that purpose by the FDA and that because of federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana for any reason, the FDA rarely if ever studies the medical use of cannabis.

The four-doctor Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is made up of Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control; Kevin Flanigan, medical director for the Office of MaineCare Services; Lindsey Tweed, medical director for the Office of Child and Family Services; and Christopher Pezzullo, medical director of population health at the Maine Center for Disease Control.

The panel met to discuss the issue on Dec. 11, 2013, and rendered its written decision two days later. The Bangor Daily News has been requesting

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/09/health/dhhs-releases-reasoning-behind-denial-of-medical-marijuana-use-for-tourettes-syndrome/?ref=latest