FALMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Advocates are vowing to keep fighting for permission to treat people with Tourette's Syndrome with medical marijuana.
Earlier this week state public health officials denied a request to add the neurological disorder to the list conditions that can be legally treated with marijuana. The decision comes as a blow to many patients who say marijuana helps them control the disease.
Under Maine law, there are several conditions that can be treated legally with medical marijuana including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and Crohn's disease. Critics say the decision will force people Tourette's get marijuana illegally on the black market.
"At least one thousand people living in Maine right now have a severe disabling condition that doesn't respond well to conventional treatments that potentially could respond very well to a non-lethal and relatively safe herb," said Dr. Dustin Sulak.
No explanation was given for DHHS's decision, a spokesman tells NEWS CENTER the department came to it's decision after careful consideration of all the information, which included testimony from patients and doctors. Advocates say they may try to get the legislature to add Tourette's as an approved medical condition for marijuana in 2015.