TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There are many misconceptions in Florida's minority communities about medical marijuana and its usage, but now a new Florida A&M University radio program is hoping to clear those up.
FAMU's new Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative or MMERI Forum Radio show is on a mission.
"Educate minority communities about medical marijuana and the unlawful impact of marijuana," said Dr. Patricia Green-Powell, Interim Executive Director at MMERI.
One of the many topics the show focuses on is what Dr. Green-Powell describes as the huge misconception among minority communities about marijuana.
"Medical marijuana is legal. The street name weed or whatever word you might use for marijuana is not legal. You will go to jail for possession," said Dr. Green-Powell.
Marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States, according the ACLU.
The numbers show that despite use being the same among the races, African Americans are nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.
"We are the purveyors of information and education, we aren't the experts so you'll notice that on our radio show we bring the experts," said Carol A. Davis, Associate Director of Communications at FAMU.
Davis is behind the community forums that led to the radio show. They are bringing on experts like law enforcement, pharmacists, doctors, pastors and legislators.
It is a huge job to to spread their message, educate and inform but they are using every vehicle to get the word out.
"We need to talk about this. We need to understand the difference between medical marijuana and the stuff you buy on the street and all of the intricacies that go with that," said Angela Hardiman, Public Affairs Liaison at MMERI.
The Florida Department of Health lists cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, and Chrohn's Disease as just a few of the conditions that medical marijuana can help treat.
For more information on where you can tune into MMERI Forum Radio and upcoming community forums and events, call 850-561-2456 or click here.