MI State Senator Rick Jones is seeking to remove Glaucoma from the list of applicable conditions covered by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. As an individual who suffers from Glaucoma, the very idea is absurd to me. I medicate with marijuana to avoid cluster headaches brought on by high inter-ocular pressure, as well as maintain my visual field. Before medicating with marijuana I was prescribed Travatan which made my eyes sensitive to light and increased my cluster headaches. Next, I tried Xalatan which felt like I was putting drops of Tabasco sauce in my eyes. Frustrated, I stopped seeing my ophthalmologist as he seemed completely unfazed by my response to the drops. He seemed to think I was being overly sensitive, as opposed to my eyes.
After 6 more months of dealing with debilitating headaches as frequent as twice a week, someone (I wont name who) told my to try marijuana to see if maybe that would help with my headaches. And, sure enough: it did. Today after medicating with marijuana for four years I get headaches as few as once every three months. My eyesight has remained steady and constant, which I can only assume means there’s less pressure on my optical nerve. And my overall quality of life is better. That, to me, is enough proof. Marijuana works for Glaucoma.
Glaucoma isn’t a curable disease, it’s only treatable. They can never get rid of the underlying condition that causes high inter-ocular pressure, they can only try to reduce the pressure placed on the optical nerve. Even surgery isn’t a sure fire bet. So, this cannot be a question of whether or not marijuana or the eye drops cure Glaucoma: they do not. It’s a quality of life issue. If Marijuana can treat high inter-ocular pressure without the side effects I experienced with eye drops (which it has bee proven that it can) then it should remain a legitimate treatment option for those who suffer from this disease. That doesn’t even begin to cover the costs associated with marijuana vs eye drops for someone without health insurance. It would cost nearly 4 times as much for me to continue to see that ophthalmologist that couldn’t be bothered to help me sort out my issues, including medication, then it does for me to continue to simply medicate with marijuana.
I talked with State Senetor Jones today, who was very dismissive of my personal experiences with the disease. He was as uninterested as that ophthalmologist I mentioned earlier. He was either unable or unwilling to point me directly to the research he’s attempting to shape our Michigan public policy around. But it stands to reason that I’m not the only individual that has had an experience like this. And more importantly, do we really want to allow our legislators to chip away at the Medical Marijuana law that Bill Schutte has made a total mockery of? I know not everyone covered under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act has Glaucoma, but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you don’t have Glaucoma that this should be tolerated or accepted. Because if this goes through, you just know their going to push for chronic pain to be removed from the qualifying conditions list next.
Please call MI State Senetor Rick Jones’ office at (517) 373-3447 and tell him what you think.