UPI.com 24 December 2015
The perception of marijuana’s effects on glaucoma significantly outpace what research has shown, according to a new study that researchers said suggests the public needs to be re-educated on medical uses for the drug.
Marijuana has been legalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in 23 states and Washington, D.C., in recent years, based largely on voter referendums.
Many of the votes have been passed on a 1999 Institute of Medicine report on marijuana’s possibly therapeutic effects for a range of medical conditions, including glaucoma. Researchers note that while marijuana can relieve the effects of glaucoma for three or four hours, patients would need to be dosed eight to ten times per day for a “sustained therapeutic effect.”
Researchers in the new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said patients need to be educated on the drug and its specific effects on glaucoma — which they note is not supported by scientific evidence.
“This study contributes to filling the gap in our knowledge about patients’ perceptions toward using marijuana for glaucoma and their intentions to seek this therapeutic alternative,” researchers wrote in the study. “Understanding these intentions will become even more important as states continue to legalize marijuana for recreational use (currently Washington, D.C., and 4 other states), as patients with glaucoma will then have access to marijuana without the need for a physician to prescribe this drug.”