Lafayette Patient Credits Marijuana for Her Sight
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Lafayette Patient Credits Marijuana for Her Sight
Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2009 at 20:04:45 PT
By Erica Meltzer, Camera Staff Writer
Source: Daily Camera 
Colorado -- Cheryl Crosby believes she would be blind today if it weren't for marijuana. The 70-year-old Lafayette resident was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1994. Despite taking two medications on a daily basis and having two surgeries, the pressure in her eyes -- an indication of fluid build-up -- continued to be higher than recommended. She knew about the research that showed marijuana could slow the progression of glaucoma, an incurable eye disease that damages the optic nerve and eventually leads to blindness. 
Her ophthamologist did an experiment, measuring the pressure in her eyes before and after she smoked marijuana. The pressure was measurably lower after she smoked. The lower the pressure in the eyes, the more slowly the disease progresses. She started smoking marijuana on a regular basis, in conjunction with her other glaucoma medications. This was back in the late 1990s, before the passage of Amendment 20 made marijuana legal for patients with certain medical conditions. Crosby said she didn't worry too much about running afoul of the law, but there was some risk. Despite using marijuana for the past 15 years, Crosby just got her medical marijuana card in June. "I wish I had done it sooner," she said. She was deterred in part by the extra expense -- between $60 and $200 for an office visit and another $90 to the state -- and by finding a doctor who was willing to write a recommendation. "I have Kaiser, and they wouldn't do it," she said. "They don't want to get a reputation in the community, or there's just a sense that it's not done." Crosby said she wouldn't mind reasonable regulations, but dispensaries shouldn't face additional hurdles that other businesses don't. She dismisses suggestions that there's anything wrong with a retail model as opposed to wellness centers that offer massage, yoga classes and other services. "A lot of people don't need that and don't want to pay for it," she said. "Why should it be any different than a pharmacy? You walk in, you get your medicine, you pay and you leave." She thinks some of the fear comes from America's Puritan culture. "It helps so many people, but it also makes you feel good," she said. "That frightens people."Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)Author: Erica Meltzer, Camera Staff WriterPublished: November 14, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Daily CameraWebsite: openforum dailycamera.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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