Jones bill would ban use of marijuana in treatment of glaucoma

Jones bill would ban use of marijuana in treatment of glaucoma

LANSING— State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced Senate Bill 977 on Thursday to remove glaucoma as one of nine debilitating medical conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was voted into law on November 4, 2008.  The law allows for the protection from state prosecution but not federal prosecution for the medical use of marijuana.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act allows for the usage of prescribed marijuana for “treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating conditions.”

Under the original law, glaucoma was considered to be treatable with medical marijuana despite a lack of scientific evidence.

“I have met with multiple medical professionals, and not one of them has been able to tell me a benefit of treating glaucoma with medical marijuana,” Jones said. “In fact, a large problem is that many patients’ forgo the use of approved treatments such as eye drops and exclusively use medical marijuana which increases their risk for permanent visual loss and blindness.” 

The Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Medical Association and the Michigan State Medical Society, based on the best scientific evidence available, do not support the use of medical marijuana for patients with glaucoma.

Editor’s note: Anyone with further questions on SB 977 is encouraged to contact Greg Chancey, Executive Director of the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons at 313-823-1000.