Glaucoma and marijuana

glaucoma pic


I’ve told you recently that I have been getting loads of genetic information from 23andme.com. Among other things, I have learned that I have a significantly enhanced chance of developing something called “exfoliative glaucoma.”

 

 

I have read several descriptions of this interesting condition. As I understand it, little particles of dead tissues (often described as “dandruff-like”) begin to accumulate within the eyeball. (Actually they accumulate within the “trabecular network,” but let’s not get too technical.) At any rate, your eyeballs turn into miniature snowflake paperweights, full of inert whitish material. This increases the fluid pressure within your eyeballs, and – presto! – glaucoma.

 

 

The average chance for developing this charming disease is 0.7 percent. Mine is 2.2 percent. Not huge, but more than triple the average.

 

 

This is interesting. There’s no glaucoma in my family that I know of, but we seem to be capable of generating nasty little mutations of our own, so I’m sure the folks at 23andMe.com are not making this stuff up.

 

 

So what’s to be done?

 

 

Glaucoma is treatable. There are eyedrops, and laser surgery, and other things.

 

 

Also there is always medical marijuana.

 

 

One of the first uses of medical marijuana was to reduce the fluid pressure in the eyeballs of glaucoma patients. It’s not the most highly-recommended treatment – damn medical research! – but it’s still used in many cases.

 

 

And medical marijuana gives you the nicest giggly feeling, and the most tremendous appetite.

 

 

Ah well. There are much worse things than glaucoma.


 

My life in the drug trade


I read recently that people are using bath salts as a drug. No joke. Some bath salts apparently contain a potent chemical which gives you a methamphetamine-type jolt. It apparently also gives you hallucinations, intense cravings for the chemical itself (some bath-salts benders go on for days and days), and violent self-destructive impulses.


 

I don’t mean to make light of this. It’s just that I can’t help wondering: Who in the world thought of using bath salts to get high?


 

Then again, I suppose anything that looks like powder gets snorted sooner or later, and anything that looks smokable gets smoked. Remember nutmeg? Remember banana peels? (I have a vague recollection of a woman in a Cheech & Chong movie snorting Ajax Cleanser.)


 

Apparently you can get high on salvia too. Salvia! It grows in front of the local grocery store!


 

I grew up in a very rural area. There was a lot of open space, a lot of forested area. Once, while rambling down through the field near the edge of our property, I found a neat little marijuana garden that had evidently been planted by some sneaky hippie; he’d cleared off maybe two square feet of pasture in a secluded corner, tilled the soil very carefully, and planted maybe half a dozen very cute little pot plants. I uprooted them and brought them up to the house, and my mother and I marvelled over them for a while. We debated smoking them, but decided against it. Finally we threw them in the kitchen stove and burned them. We were stupid enough to fret for a day or two that the police would somehow detect the smoke and come get us.


 

We had some pharmaceutical adventures when I was overseas, too. While I was living in Morocco, a visiting American friend came bursting through my door with a full-sized grocery bag of freshly-picked marijuana. “Five bucks!” he wheezed. “The guy in the market sold it all to me for five bucks!” He spent the rest of the day sitting at my kitchen table, humming to himself, sorting seeds, stems, and leaves. I’ve never seen a happier boy. And once a friend brought back some “hashish” from Spain. It looked like a lump of wood putty to me. We tried to smoke it, but it wouldn’t light. Finally we chopped it up and put it in spaghetti sauce and had it for dinner. We all got violently ill afterward.


 

I’m pretty sure it was wood putty.


 

Enough reminiscing. Time for my bath.


 


 

 

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