About Us

The mission of the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative is to educate and inform Florida’s minority communities about medical marijuana and the potential consequence to health and well-being from recreational use.

Our Vision

Florida A&M University will become the touchstone venue for research and education efforts to ensure Florida's minority communities are well informed about medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

Key Components

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Education

Historically, FAMU has played an outstanding role in educating minority students and is in a unique position to educate Florida's diverse minority populations about medical marijuana and to develop and deliver curriculum and certified training programs.

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Research

As a research institution, FAMU offers a vast platform and a cadre of researchers to study and understand the science and the impact of medical marijuana from diverse perspectives.

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Community Engagement

Community Engagement and education are integral parts of this initiative and will build and expand relationships and partnerships; and collaboration with leaders, community groups, faith base organizations, educational institutions and others.

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Communications

Partnerships and collaborations with the Florida Association of Broadcasters and other entities will ensure timely delivery of relevant information to communities statewide. MMERI will launch a statewide messaging campaign through various digital, audio, visual, print and in-person platforms.

Goals

Aligned with the University's Strategic Priorities

Educate

Educate Florida's Diverse Minority Communities about Medical Marijuana and the Consequences of Unlawful Use of Marijuana

Research

Increase the Body of Research that Promotes and Advances Knowledge about Medical Marijuana and the Consequences of Unlawful Use of Marijuana

Assessment and Evaluation

Conduct ongoing Assessment and Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Impact of the MMERI project

Testimonials

We all have a journey in life that takes us to our destination. No matter what route one takes, make sure it is a well-informed journey of your choice and not that of another. Thanks, MMERI!

Dr. Candace Lewis-Shashikarshe, CED Mahogany Revue R&D Center

Mahogany Revue

When it comes to cannabis, people are subjected to harmful misinformation that can lead to incarceration. Thanks to MMERI, the material given is legit and informative. They're not just blowing smoke.

Bobby R. Henry, Sr., Publisher

Westside Gazette

FAMU MMERI's comprehensive information on marijuana for medical use has proven to be a great educational source for our readers. The research and insight shared by medical experts have been invaluable in helping reduce the stigma in the Black community.

Jenise Griffin, Publisher

Florida Courier and Daytona Times

More people die from over-the-counter drugs than marijuana. Medical marijuana is a safe and effective drug to deal with stress, and marijuana has always helped to relieve stress.

Cyril Blythe Andrews lll, President-Owner

Florida Sentinel Bulletin

The partnership with the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative to promote the use of cannabis to our community has brought substantial educational value to our readers, especially the fact that the program is revealing important medicinal and health benefits.

Hugh Ferguson, Director of Sales

Caribbean National Weekly

LIVE Communications, Inc.'s (Capital Outlook and Hallelujah 95.3FM) partnership with the FAMU MMERI initiative has been a great way to get pertinent information out to the community about cannabis. Through this partnership we have been able to provide our readers and listeners fact-based information on what cannabis is, what it's used for, and the pros and cons of both medicinal and non-medicinal cannabis from professionals in the business as well as from those who are currently cannabis consumers.

Taralisha Sanders, General Manager

Capital Outlook

The knowledge about legal use of marijuana is important for the readers of Diario Las Americas because it helps to educate and break myths that marijuana and its derivative products are something that only interest people with addictions. This educational campaign allows people to learn that cannabis has medicinal purposes from which anyone can obtain benefits.

Iliana Lavastida, Executive Director

Diario Las Americas

The Florida Star now has a great partner in MMERI to educate and bring common sense to the issues surrounding marijuana as it relates to health, culture, and legalization. We just say 'Know'.

Opio Sokoni, General Manager

The Florida Star

Our partnership with FAMU MMERI to provide information and education about cannabis use in Florida is something that our Latino audience greatly needs. Minority communities need more programs like this to counter the misinformation about cannabis use.

Jose Pomales, General Manager Redemption Strategies Broadcasting LLC

WPUL 100.7 FM/1590 AM

WMBM Media Group is honored to partner with MMERI as we provide empowering information to our audience regarding the medicinal value of cannabis. It is critical that our listeners understand the truths as we dispel the myths regarding its use.

Deb Toomer, Assistant General Manager WMBM Media Group

Gospel AM1490 WMBM

We are pleased to be a media partner of FAMU and MMERI, helping them reach their audiences across many Florida communities through our multiple audio assets, including live radio, digital, and social.

Mark McCauley, Area President iHeartMedia West Palm Beach and Ft Myers

iHeartMedia

We appreciate the MMERI shows informing our listeners about the effects of medical marijuana. The shows have increased our knowledge and explained the health benefits as well as the risks involved. They have interviewed various professionals. I have found the shows helpful, educational and informative. Thank you for all you do to educate our community.

104.5 WFLM

Alice Lee, CEO Midway Broadcasting Company

Quarterly Accomplishments

900+ Participants
Students and individuals who took the Basic Medical Marijuana Education Course.

21k + PSAs
Combined television and radio PSA placements. Aired 10 major media markets through the Florida Association of Broadcasters.

3 Virtual Forums
Streaming live to talk about medical marijuana and unlawful use of marijuana with diverse audiences across Florida

Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forums

10 Speaking Engagements
In collaboration with community partners and organizations

MMERI FAQs

Q What is the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative?
A

The Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative is focused on educating the state's diverse minority communities about medical marijuana and the consequences of illegal use of marijuana. Funding is provided by the Florida Department of Health at the direction of the legislature.

Q Why is FAMU leading the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative?
A

Given the University's historical role in educating minority students, FAMU is in a unique position to educate Florida's diverse minority populations about medical marijuana. As a research institution, FAMU offers a vast platform and has the resources to study and understand the science of medical marijuana from diverse multilingual and multicultural perspectives.

Q How will the new initiative benefit the community and also faculty research at FAMU?
A

The MMERI's role is to generate and provide information and research to scholars, and to share that information with the members of Florida's diverse minority communities in a variety of languages. As a touchstone for scholars on this subject, FAMU faculty is in a position to provide foundational as well as ongoing research studies. Every effort will be made to ensure that updates on the research done by FAMU faculty and others will be shared with communities across the state. The MMERI will maintain an interactive website, provide updates, and conduct community engagement to ensure face-to-face conversations on this important subject.

Q What will community engagement and education look like?
A

Community engagement and education are integral parts of the initiative. We began with relationship and coalition building with leaders, community groups, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and others. We want you to know who we are and the goals and objectives of the initiative. Now, we are executing a state-wide campaign to include community forums, focus groups, speaker/listener bureaus, workshops, etc. Our staff and regional partners will be visible and active in your communities across the state.

Q How will the community learn about the consequences of illegal marijuana use and disparities in the criminal justice system as it relates to marijuana criminalization?
A

We are forming coalitions throughout the state to effectively engage local stakeholders and to ensure the information reaches all concerned.

Q Who are the state and institutional partners of the initiative?
A

In addition to the Florida Department of Health, the University will work with a variety of FAMU academic partners, a state- wide network of community and faith-based organizations, a select group of consultants and other interested entities.

Q What are the goals for the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative?
A

Our mandate from the state legislature is clear: "educate Florida's diverse minority communities about medical marijuana and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities." Analyses of data collected will demonstrate the efficacy of our outreach efforts to educate the communities. Contributions to the current literature on both aspects will enable FAMU to serve as a touchstone for diversity researchers throughout the state, the country, and globally.


Legislative Authorization

Chapter 2017-232, Laws of Florida, charged Florida A&M University to "educate minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities."

381.986 Medical Use of Marijuana

Section 381.986, Florida Statutes (F.S.), better known as Florida's medical marijuana law, includes a funding provision that entrusts Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) with "educating minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities." The following excerpt from the statute set in motion the creation of FAMU's Medical Marijuana Education & Research Initiative. To read the entire statute, go to www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0381/Sections/0381.986.html