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Cannabis Treats Glaucoma, High Blood Pressure

By James Donahue

Marijuana, whether smoked or taken orally, is known to lower blood pressure. Because it does this, it also has been found to be an effective treatment for glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that increases pressure on the eyeball and if left untreated, can lead to vision loss. Smoking marijuana reduces the pressure in the eyes. While alternative medications like eye drops, laser treatment and even surgery of the eye are found helpful for some glaucoma patients, it is not always successful and can cause unacceptable side effects.
 
Because marijuana is still declared an illegal (and dangerous) drug by the federal government, eye drops containing the compounds that make cannabis lower eye pressure have been attempted, but they have been ineffective. The only thing that really works in easing eye pressure in glaucoma patients is simply smoking marijuana.

As users of marijuana know, the side effects of smoking or eating the plant, which can be mixed well with certain foods, is a pleasant mood swing, an easing of tension, an inability to think clearly and a feeling of drowsiness. Thus it is not recommended that users drive vehicles or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of marijuana.

The easing of eye pressure lasts about four hours after marijuana is used, so the treatment must be repeated several times a day. Critics of this treatment argue that constant smoking of marijuana can be habit forming, can lead to lung cancer and make the user unable to hold a job or successfully conduct normal daily activities. These arguments have not been proven, however.
 
The known side effects of marijuana use can be mild and have not been shown to be dangerous. Despite the warnings, users of this substance argue that it is not habit forming although they usually like the sensation of comfort and euphoria that comes over them. 

If marijuana is an effective pain killer, if it lowers blood pressure and pressure caused by glaucoma on the eyes, and brings on comforting mood swings, is it not a better choice for treatment of these symptoms that buying costly prescription drugs that are not as effective?
 
The cannabis sativa plant has been used for medicinal purposes in China Greece and the Middle East as a pain reliever, for gastrointestinal disorders and insomnia for nearly 5,000 years. The only reason it is not used freely in the United States is because it was declared an illegal drug in 1937. This appears to have been for political reasons.

The declaration of marijuana as an illegal substance appears to have helped boost its popularity in the United States. Because the growing and possession of marijuana is against the law, it has become a costly commodity, thus there is money involved in its production.
 
While voters in about 16 states have approved the use of medical marijuana as prescribed by a doctor, the federal government has not relaxed its rules declaring it an illegal substance to possess, use or sell. And most doctors, who depend on the government to maintain their license to practice, refuse to prescribe cannabis even in states where it is now declared a legal treatment for certain medical problems.

Why is the federal government holding firm on this archaic law? Consider the influence of the pharmaceutical industry that stands to lose billions of dollars if marijuana is legalized. Marijuana is a natural plant that can be grown anywhere by anybody. It grows quickly and simply needs to be dried before consumption. It is an inexpensive treatment for a lot of what ails us.

The powers that own and control Washington can’t let us have anything like that.