Pubdate: Sun, 19 Jun 2005
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2005 Rockford Register Star
Author: Gary Storck


Thanks to Judy Emerson for pointing out that it is not just patients
who suffer because medical marijuana is illegal, but also their
families, "Marijuana ruling forces patients to suffer, endure" (June

Sadly, the Supreme Court decision will prevent patients from using
medical marijuana. Caregivers and survivors will continue to suffer
after a loved one is gone, wondering if marijuana might have helped
had they had legal access.

I must question, however, Ms. Emerson's assertion that, "The first
President Bush used eyedrops containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to
treat glaucoma."

As a lifelong glaucoma patient myself, who has used marijuana for 33
years to preserve my eyesight, I found the assertion questionable.
Over my lifetime I have been on just about every glaucoma medication
available and am currently using 4 different medications in addition
to marijuana. Eyedrops made from marijuana are available in Jamaica
under the name Cannasol, but they are not approved in the U.S.

My research did find that according to a 1990 White House press release,
Bush 1 was diagnosed with an "early glaucoma" in his left eye in April 1990
and was prescribed Betagan eyedrops (Source: ). I have used Betagan
eyedrops and they do not contain THC. The release noted the drops were soon
discontinued and it was decided to watch the eye closely instead. If there
is any evidence Bush 1 used THC eyedrops, I would appreciate seeing it.

Ironically, while Bush 1 likely did not use THC eyedrops, he did
suspend and then close to new participants a small federal program
that still supplies to date, seven living Americans with 7.5 pounds of
medical marijuana per year, grown at the University of Mississippi.
The program was initiated in 1976 when a glaucoma patient, the late
Robert Randall, sued the federal government. Mr. Randall died in 2001.
Two other glaucoma patients are current participants.

Gary Storck

Madison, Wis.

Is My Medicine Legal YET?
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