Doctor, patient frustrated by DHHS denial of medical pot prescription for …

December 27th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA, Maine — A doctor whose failed petition to have Tourette syndrome added to the state’s list of ailments that can be legally treated with medical marijuana said he’s so frustrated with the process that he’s reluctant to try again on behalf of his patients.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, who runs a practice called Integr8 Health and who is known as one of the state’s leading medical marijuana proponents, said he learned earlier this week that the Department of Health and Human Services has denied his request. Sulak is part of a panel of doctors responsible for making recommendations to DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew on the 1999 medical marijuana law and the subsequent 2009 Maine Medical Marijuana Act.

Sulak said he has several patients who suffer from Tourette syndrome, which is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary muscular and verbal tics and outbursts.

“I’ve had several Tourette syndrome patients who have done very well with the use of cannabis,” said Sulak by phone Thursday. “It’s really common, too. People don’t realize how common. … It can make it very difficult for someone to function in public and just about any other situation. People don’t understand why they’re shouting or swearing, and conventional treatments are not very effective.”

One of Sulak’s patients, 28-year-old Peter Hasty of Sullivan, said he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in his teens and has tried numerous forms of treatment to control it.

“I’ve tried just about everything out there and none of them controlled the tics well and all

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