Up until the 1930s and 1940s extracts of Indian hemp was used medically to treat a wide variety of diseases. In the USA it was a legal medicine until 1969 and in Britain it was legal until 1971. At the only hearing for the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, the representative of the American Medical Association opposed the new law, worrying it would prevent medical use. There are patients in the USA whom the Federal government supplies with 300 marijuana cigarettes every month. One of these patients is Robert Randall who would have gone blind from glaucoma 25 years ago had he not had access to marijuana to treat his condition. Every other year the University of Mississippi grows some 7000 square metres of marijuana plants for the U.S. government. There are 67 million blind people worldwide who lost their eyesight because of glaucoma, many of them in poor countries in the Caribbean and Africa. Marijuana is the most affordable drug that could have saved their eyesight. Although there is an ongoing public debate about medical use of cannabis, its usefulness has been known for decades. Apparently the British queen, Victoria, used cannabis for period pains. In many cases it has been reported that cannabis helps to alleviate pain of MS patients, cancer and aids patients, counteracts negative side effects of medicines and is useful for sufferers from glaucoma. Although there is no conclusive scientific proof of the beneficial effects of cannabis, patient organizations and health care services argue strongly in favor of its application. The Dutch government has set up an official agency to supervise medical distribution of cannabis.