High and happy Women in Cannabis Wednesday.
Tomorrow is a day many of us will spend with family and friends, celebrating Thanksgiving or just enjoying good company. Sadly, the cannabis family recently lost a very prominent member. So today, I wanted to feature a very special woman who was a doctor and pioneer in cannabis health research-Dr. Sonya Kay Forbes.
Dr. Forbes gained her fame as Miss Jamaica World in 1999 and studied at the University of West Indies. She used her education to research the effects of cannabis on bad eyesight and blindness. We’re not talking any beginner’s level stuff either. She observed Jamaican fisherman who were cannabis smokers and had excellent night vision. With that inspiration, she discovered that after applying a cannabinoid (fancy name for THC or CBD, remember?) to the eye tissues of tadpoles, some retinal cells became more sensitive to light while increasing the response time of the eye. CRAY!
In addition to her research, Forbes advocated for hospitals to seek out alternative medical procedures and treatments, including cannabis. What may have attracted opposing attention was her push for medical centers to move away from big pharmaceutical companies and offer cheaper, natural medications to patients.
On September 13, 2017, Dr. Sonya Kay Forbes was dead of a stab wound in her Jamaica home. She was only 40 years old, and was the mother of a young son.
I’ll exclude my personal opinions on her sudden and tragic death, especially as authorities named it a suicide. As I type this, her case is being investigated as a possible suicide but it is obvious this phenomenal woman’s life ended at the hands of someone else. What isn’t in question is how much she accomplished in such a short amount of time, and a legacy that must be continued.