Maine Lawmakers to Consider Marijuana Bills

December 7th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Editor’s Note:  Due to technical difficulties, the audio for this story is temporarily unavailable.

Dr. Jeremy Spiegel of Casco Bay Medical says he’s evaluated hundreds of patients who want to be treated with medical marijuana since he opened an office in the Old Port earlier this year.   Their conditions run the gamut of those covered under Maine’s three-year-old law.  Those conditions, about a dozen of them, include Alzhemiers’ Disease, Crohn’s Disease, glaucoma, seizure disorders – and what Spiegel says he sees the lion’s share of patients for:  chronic pain.

“Yet they also have other conditions that are not, as yet, listed – insomnia, post traumatic stress disorder. I have patients that say they need it for their anxiety and I tell them, ‘I’m sorry but as yet that is not a qualifying condition.’ It ought to be, but it isn’t yet, and so therefore I cannot certify somebody.”

As a trained psychiatrist, Spiegel says his hands are tied.  His frustration is shared by Democratic Rep. Mark Dion, a former Cumberland County sheriff-turned-defense attorney.  Even as sheriff, Dion supported medical marijuana and was one of the early supporters of Maine’s three-year-old law. 

While the law includes a process for adding other illnesses and medical conditions to the list, Dion doesn’t think it’s appropriate for lawmakers and bureaucrats to tell doctors how to practice medicine.

“There’s a list of conditions that was formed by the consensus of a committee as to what proper medical practice should be,” Dion says. “I’m simply saying that

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