Educating Minorities About Marijuana for Medical Use and the Consequences of Unlawful Use of Marijuana

Patricia Green-Powell
Florida A&M University

Objectives: Florida A&M University (FAMU) established the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) to educate minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana, pursuant to Sec. 381.986 F. S. This presentation provides an overview of how MMERI, has educated and engaged individuals throughout the State of Florida, using on-site classes, print and broadcast media, over myriad communications channels, including the MMERI website (mmeri.famu.edu), podcasts and videocasts. After the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, MMERI moved to online technologies, including an E-Newsletter and Conversations on Cannabis, a virtual forum broadcast over Zoom, to expand its education, communication and community engagement reach throughout Florida. In addition to the number of events, minorities and Floridians served, and percentage ethnically, the facilitator will reveal numerical findings and qualitative insight derived from pre/post assessments, as well as satisfaction surveys.

Methods: This overview consists of descriptive statistics with comparative analyses using both quantitative and qualitative data to organize, summarize and report on selected education and outreach activities. The effectiveness of the education and outreach activities were measured by participant feedback on the pre/post assessment for the Basic Medical Marijuana Education course, as well as satisfaction surveys.

Result: The number and types of activities and events and participants served, reveal MMERI’s compliance with its legislative mandate to educate minorities. However, the invaluable data extracted from assessment and surveys, provided critical insight showing participants not only moved from one level of competency to a higher one in the cognitive domain: but in the affective domain as well. The responses illustrated participants viewed medical marijuana more favorable when compared to unlawful usage of marijuana, after viewing MMERI’s presentations.

The demographics revealing the ethnicity of Floridians served in descending order as: 55% Whites, 24% Hispanics; 16% Blacks; 3% Asians; and 2% Mixed/Others, exemplifies MMERI’s commitment to diversity.

Conclusion: FAMU’s MMERI educated minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana, pursuant to Sec. 381.986 F.S.

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