Educate. Learn. Talk about Marijuana in Florida. 
‘Trainer’ Angela 
Duan Educates 
about Marijuana
Angela Duan admits to being uninformed about medical marijuana and Florida’s law governing it — until, that is, she became a trainer of MMERI’s Medical Marijuana Basic Education course.
Duan, a University of Florida graduate student studying speech language pathology, is a member of MMERI’s inaugural Train-the-Trainer class. She leveraged her Chinese-American family’s relationship with the Tallahassee Chinese Christian Church to expose people of Asian descent to the Medical Marijuana Basic Education course. She conducted five Zoom sessions with 15 participants each.

“During sessions, I told my participants I could speak Mandarin Chinese fluently, so they knew I could answer their questions if they didn’t speak English very well,” she said.
Ms. Duan said her participants ranged in age from 20 to 60 years old and most knew little about Florida’s medical marijuana law, which she could relate to because she didn’t know much about it either until she was trained to teach the course. Ms. Duan was introduced to MMERI through a family friend who works at Florida A&M University.
“I definitely learned a lot about medical marijuana from the program,” she said.
The goal of Train-the-Trainer is to prepare an ethnically, culturally and geographically diverse group of individuals to conduct minority-targeted community sessions about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana. Trainers are equipped with feedback skills to ensure they have the cultural and linguistic competencies that will help them establish a rapport with their audiences and identify each group’s learning style. Additionally, trainers are exposed to facilitative techniques and course session management and taught how to deal with difficult situations (and people).
MMERI is developing a network of trainers across the state as we seek to build strong and lasting relationships with minority communities and Florida’s diverse populations. 
How to Get Medical Marijuana
in Florida
Only a qualified physician can recommend medical marijuana in Florida, but a patient still must get a registry identification card to obtain the drug from an approved treatment center. 

find a qualified
Click here to apply for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card.
to find a Medical
Marijuana Treatment
Center near you.
What You Need To Know:
Illicit Use of Marijuana
MMERI recently held a Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum with Criminal Defense Lawyer Patricia Dawson and FAMU’s Police Chief and Assistant Vice President of Safety Terence Calloway. These legal experts addressed and answered live questions from audience members about the unlawful use of marijuana in Florida. Below are the top takeaways from their conversation. Click here to watch the forum.
Q. What are the marijuana laws in Florida?
A. “Under the federal statute, marijuana remains illegal. The law makes it illegal to use, possess, grow and sell.” – Chief Calloway

A.“Remember, federal law trumps state law. You cannot travel out of state with your medical marijuana.” – Attorney Dawson
Q. Can a user of medical marijuana pass a drug test?
A. “No… because it contains THC. If you are employed or trying to get hired and must take a drug test while taking medical marijuana, you will not pass.”
– Attorney Dawson
Q. How could medical marijuana use impact employees?
A. “If you have medical marijuana and are applying for a job, you need to talk to the employer in advance… If you have a federal-level job, medical marijauna use is illegal… you can get fired.” – Attorney Dawson
Q. Can I share medical marijuana with others?
A. “Your medical marijuana card can be revoked if you are caught sharing it with others… If the person you are sharing with gets in trouble, you may be held liable for what happens to them.” – Chief Calloway

A. “There is no friendship when it comes to going to jail or getting prosecuted. Don’t share, don’t break the law. It’s your medical marijuana and you need it for your chronic condition.” – Attorney Dawson
Q. Blacks are found to be significantly more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than Whites. What advice would you provide to Black people to protect themselves from becoming a statistic. 
A. “Don’t smoke and get in your car. You’re giving probable cause to the police. If they pull you over and they smell it they will search your car without asking you. Don’t argue with the police when pulled over because you are not going to win that battle. As soon as you start arguing, they can take you to jail for disorderly conduct. As soon as they grab you and you pull back, they can charge you for resisting arrest. And it now goes from a simple misdemeanor to a felony."
– Chief Calloway
Cannabis News Roundup
Voters in New Jersey, Arizona and Montana just passed measures to legalize adult-use marijuana. South Dakota became the first state to authorize both medical and recreational sales at the same time.
Did you know recreational marijuana (adult-use) is illegal in Florida?
Conversation with Edward Clarke, II,
MMERI Advisory Council Member and Program Evaluator with the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention
at Florida Department of Health.
What’s your professional interest in medical marijuana?
“I’m a public health professional, so I look at medical marijuana through the lens of equity health, specifically to make certain that when we start to legislate policies to expand the use of marijuana that we make certain what we’re doing does not disadvantage one group at the expense of another or does not make the access to usage for medical reasons limited to certain groups.”

Do you think there’s still a stigma attached to medical marijuana use?
“I think it depends on where you are. Here in Florida you can still be terminated from your job for using it even if you have a medical marijuana card and a prescription. To traditionalists, it’s always going to be a drug to them. It’s going to take some time to rebrand it. There are African-American churches that still have issues with medical marijuana — you’re using dope. Also, at the federal level, it’s still a Schedule 1 drug. Society is coming around to accept it, though.”

Is Florida ready to legalize recreational use? 
“I think the populace will be more inclined at some point in the future to vote for recreational use. But we are a conservative state, and for that reason we may be a little more deliberate in our process toward gaining recreational use.”

What’s the biggest barrier to accessing medical marijuana?
“There are some barriers. One of which is even if you qualify for medical marijuana you have to purchase a medical marijuana card and the physician-recommended medical marijuana is not covered by insurance, like Medicaid or Medicare. If you’re a low-income person you don’t have the wherewithal to bear these costs.”
What People Are Saying
About Marijuana
During each Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum, we ask audience members to share their views or experiences. V.T. in Brandon, Fla., shared:

“I am a home health occupational therapy assistant and I have encountered some of my patients throughout the years that use medical marijuana. They say it's so much better and they feel better versus taking so many pills because it's a vicious cycle of taking one pill for a symptom, then have to take another pill to help the side effects of the first pill and so on and so on. Everything is not going to be perfect, but honestly if we can have alcohol legal, which can create liver damage and make us blackout, and tobacco legal, which causes cancer and so many other diseases. then why can't weed be legal? The only thing I've heard happens is you get sleepy and hungry.”
Let’s Talk about Marijuana and Mental Health
Register for 
Conversations on 
Register to join the next Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum on Thursday, December 17 at noon. This forum will feature a panel of mental health professionals talking and answering your questions about marijuana. Click the link below to attend and be heard.

Join the Conversations on Cannabis on
Contact us directly by phone at 850-561-2456 or by email at

625 East Tennessee Street, Ste. 210, Tallahassee, FL 32301