Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Copyright: 1999 Geo. J. Foster Co.
Pubdate: Mon, 19 Jan 1999
Author: Gary Storck
Note: The related article is at:


To the editor:

Your 1/11/99 article "Mainers likely to vote on medical use of marijuana"
included some very questionable comments about marijuana and glaucoma by
Dr. Dora Ann Mills, director of Maine’s Health Bureau, that require a

Dr. Mills claims that the research on how much marijuana helps glaucoma is
"very weak," and "There is no medical efficacy in marijuana for treating
glaucoma." She also quotes the American Academy of Ophthalmology as saying
that although it appears marijuana can provide possibly short-term relief
of intraocular pressure from glaucoma, there are no long-term benefits.

In a chronic illness like glaucoma, all medication-derived relief is
short-term. There is no medication that will cure glaucoma. Once the
effects wear off, symptoms return.

In my case, the long-term benefit is that I can still see after a lifetime
of glaucoma. I was born with glaucoma nearly 44 years ago. I have been
using marijuana medicinally to treat my glaucoma for over 25 years, ever
since my doctor noted a significant reduction in my eye pressure after I
smoked marijuana. I am currently on four prescription medications for
glaucoma that, like marijuana, only provide short-term relief.

If marijuana has no medical efficacy in treating glaucoma, why does the
federal government provide three of the eight surviving patients in the
discontinued Compassionate IND Program with 300 joints per month to treat
their glaucoma?

When one is faced with serious illness, shouldn’t every option be available?

I suggest Dr. Smith investigate the facts instead of spouting
disinformation that can only deceive and confuse sick people already
dealing with the pain and stress of ill health.

More information and studies detailing marijuana’s medical efficacy can be
found at on the Internet at: .

Gary Storck
Madison, Wis. 
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