FAMU provides update on medical marijuana

Photo courtesy: Fritzly Beaubrun

Florida A&M University’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) hosted an event on Thursday called “The 411 on 4/20” that focused on three major things, which were to educate students about marijuana laws and how they impact people, to help identify what medical conditions qualify you for a Florida medical marijuana card, and to give students the chance to meet with representatives in the billion dollar cannabis industry.

Michelle Wilson, a coordinator of education, training, and community engagement for the MMERI at FAMU, said it is necessary that students are well-educated when it comes to the cannabis industry and the laws that surround it.

“I believe it is necessary to host these types of events because Florida through its legislative arm has made medical marijuana legal here. When the law was passed, people were confused on the ins and outs because most don’t read the full extent of the statutes,” Wilson said. “That’s where we come in. We’re in a unique position to make laws a little more comprehensible by bringing in professionals to discuss them.”

Wilson urged attendees to be cautious of certain stigmas still surrounding cannabis as some people aren’t ready to accept it as a legal recreational use product.

During the event, the panelists went on to zero in on the pros and cons of legal recreational use of marijuana.

Dr. Terel Newton, a medical director at Trulieve, shared his experience when examining patients who use it for recreational purposes.

“A lot of patients benefit from using cannabis as it is a more natural approach to dealing with serious conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, migraines and so forth,”  Newton said. “The cons of using cannabis though is that it can affect your ability to function normally, make an individual dizzy, and the fact that it may or may not work for certain patients. In some rare cases, it can even increase anxiety for a short period of time.”

Antonio Matthews Jr., a graduate of Florida A&M University, was happy he attended the 411 on 4/20 event.

“I feel as though as young adults we need to be well educated on certain laws and regulations when it comes to cannabis,” Matthews said. “A lot of people think that it’s legal in all cases although it’s not and I am glad that FAMU’s MMERI department continues to shed light on it.”

For more information regarding the MMERI event “The 411 on 4/20” click the link below: