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Lon'Tejuana Cooper

Division Director/Associate Professor/Principal Investigator - Health Sciences

334 Palmer Avenue, Room 324
Tallahassee, FL 32307


Marisa Lewis, Pharm.D., MPH, Associate Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences and Lon'Tejuana Cooper, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences


Assessing the Knowledge and Perceptions of Community Members Specific to the Compassionate Use of Marijuana


The study seeks to understand the knowledge and perceptions of community-based individuals specific to medical marijuana and provide pilot data for a larger project focused on educating community-based individuals, with a special focus on minority elders, on the uses of medical marijuana.



The subjects in this study were 218 community members and students. Most of the subjects attended the FAMU Harambee Festival in February 2020 in Tallahassee. Of the participants, 67.3% were females, 24.8% males and 7.9% identified as others, or data were missing.


This study had two comparative hypotheses: (1) the perceptions of medical marijuana will vary by the age of respondents, with older individuals reporting a stronger negative perception; and (2) there is an increased knowledge and positive perception of medical marijuana for those at varying socio-economic statuses. Researchers used the p-value to determine if there existed any statistically significant differences.

Findings and Implications


The bivariate results by respondent age group (i.e., 18-25 and 60+), revealed no statistical differences in knowledge and perceptions by age (p-value of 0.23). Thus, based on these findings, the first hypothesis was rejected. The chi-square results were significant (p-value of 0.03). Thus, individuals with higher incomes reported greater knowledge about medical marijuana. Based on these findings, the second hypothesis was accepted.


In this study population, we confirmed that socioeconomic status, particularly higher income was positively associated with knowledge of medical marijuana. However, due to our small sample size, a larger study should be undertaken. Additionally, there should be a continued focus to educate minority community members who have lower incomes (less than $30,000), about medical marijuana

Impact on MMERI

MMERI may wish to use findings to educate statewide shareholders about knowledge and perception of medical marijuana.