Sanford hospital patient denied medical marijuana lotion

August 24th, 2015 by admin Leave a reply »

SANFORD — Eric Chipman doesn’t hide his medical marijuana use, which he says best treats the lasting effects of a severe accident he was in 40 years ago.

So, during a two-week stay at Southern Maine Health Care in Sanford, Chipman told his doctors he was rubbing a marijuana-based lotion into his skin that relieves pain better than the narcotic drugs he tries to avoid. After making that disclosure, however, Chipman was told by hospital officials he was in violation of hospital policy and must remove it from the property.

Eric Chipman, seen in a wheelchair in a hospital room at Southern Maine Health Care in Sanford on Wednesday, suffered a number of debilitating injuries as the result of a motorcycle accident in 1976. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer


The loss of his medicine slowed Chipman’s recovery, he said, because of pain and inflexibility that makes it harder to do physical therapy sessions and gain back the strength he needs to care for himself and get in and out of his wheelchair.

“Medical marijuana could help so many people and they won’t allow it,” Chipman said. “I think of it as a Catch-22.”

Chipman, like other patients around the state, ran afoul of a hospital policy that is common in Maine, despite a state law that allows qualified patients to use medical marijuana.

Because marijuana is illegal under federal law and hospitals are licensed by the federal government, they could risk being found in violation of their

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