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A Former Combat Nurse Talks About Veterans for Cannabis
Religious leaders discuss Marijuana Use
How To Get a Florida Medical Marijuana ID Card
Talk with A Former Combat Nurse About Veterans For Cannabis
There’s a nationwide push to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) gain legal access to cannabis as a medical treatment and a former combat nurse is helping lead the charge. Cherissa Jackson survived three combat deployments, overcame PTSD, and now serves as the Chief Medical Executive for AMVETs, a national organization that advocates for the health and well-being of former military personnel. 

Join the next Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum on Thursday, July 22 at noon for a talk with Jackson, who calls herself “America’s Combat Nurse” about her experiences and whether medical cannabis can help veterans battling PTSD.
A Rabbi, a Priest,
and a Reverend Offer Perspectives on
Cannabis Use
Use of the cannabis plant as an herbal remedy and psychoactive drug was documented by ancient civilizations, but whether it was mentioned in the Bible has been a matter of speculation and religious perspective. 

This was the topic of discussion when three faith leaders and a layperson participated in a forum hosted by MMERI to discuss their views on cannabis as they relate to theology, medicinal and recreational uses, criminal persecution, and other points of interest. 
Rabbi Yaakov Cohen, lives in Israel and is the founder of Whole Kosher Services. He contends that you can find a reference to cannabis in the Bible if you’re reading the Old Testament or Torah, and you know the Hebrew language. He says, "The Book of Leviticus, Chapter 30:20-24, mentions an herb called Q'aneh-Bosm (also translated as Kaneh-Bosm)." 

“Q'aneh-Bosm is the hemp plant that was used in anointing the oil of the temple vessels, the king and the high priest,” said Rabbi Cohen, adding that if you say the word quickly it sounds like cannabis. Herbs, the rabbi explained, are God’s gift of healing. 
Father Dustin Feddon, pastor of two parishes in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, said 12th century mystic St. Hildegard of Bingen, was considered, “one of our doctors of the church.” He says, “she was very much a believer that all of God’s creation, especially plants and herbs, can be used for the health and well-being of all of God’s creation and humanity.”

Offering another faith-based perspective was The Rev. Dr. Lenny C.K. Marshall, pastor of St. Phillips AME Church in Tallahassee. He referred to the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 6:12, where it says “that while everything is permissible for me, not everything is beneficial and I will not be mastered by anything.” 
He said, “from the Christian perspective, it's really up to us to weigh, according to our spiritual beliefs, what is best for us.” 
While each cleric provided unique views on cannabis, they held the same beliefs on the matter of legal vs. illegal use: All laws governing cannabis use — medicinally or recreationally — must be obeyed. They all also characterized the criminalization of marijuana as an orchestrated attempt to persecute people of color. 
However, Ben Temer, the founder of the nonprofit International Jewish Cannabis Association, said his own experience as a White teen arrested for possession gave him a different view of the enforcement of marijuana laws.  

“They don't care about the color. They don't care about your background. They don't care about who you are or what you're doing,” he said, referring to the criminal justice system. 

“You may get in trouble for the use of marijuana regardless of the color of your skin,” responded Rev. Marshall, “but the numbers in black communities are way higher for the use of the substance.”
Click here to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring Reverend Dr. Lenny Marshall (Pastor of St. Philip AME Church), Rabbi Yaakov Cohen, (CEO of WholeKosher, International), Father Dustin Feddon (Priest in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and the Executive Director of Joseph House), and Ben Temer (Founder of International Jewish Cannabis Association) on YouTube. Visit MMERI’s website at
Cannabis News Roundup
How to Get Medical Marijuana in Florida
Only a qualified physician can recommend medical marijuana in Florida. However, a patient still must get a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Card to obtain the drug from an approved treatment center.
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What People Are Saying About Marijuana

During each Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum, we ask audience members to share their views or experiences.

“I am a recovered alcoholic. The cannabis community was the first and only group to hold me truly accountable. Addicts and alcoholics find cannabis is a safe alternative. It is a support system and needs to be legalized.” T.C. from Venice, FL.

“Marijuana helps me cope with my anxiety and depression. It's been helping me for over 10 years.” D.P. from Caryville, FL.
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