By: Sharon Aron Baron
February is Black History Month, and it’s worth noting that marijuana was scheduled as part of the Controlled Substances Act during the Nixon Administration. This was done explicitly to oppress people of color as a follow up to racist laws first enacted in the 30s and 50s as a result of “reefer madness” fear-mongering.
Sadly, the people who have been prosecuted for crimes related to this relatively harmless plant are overwhelmingly people of color.
But times are changing. In 2016, the people of the State of Florida voted overwhelmingly to implement Amendment 2 into our state constitution.
Medical marijuana is now legal, and even our conservative Governor, Ron DeSantis wants the implementation to be even more liberalized with more licenses for dispensaries to be opened up, statewide.
It wasn’t always so in Tamarac. Since 2016, Medical Marijuana dispensaries have been banned due to a moratorium from the city commission.
Then, Mayor Harry Dressler, believed Medical Marijuana was a “gigantic scam” and was factually misinformed about the differences between CBD and THC — the active ingredient in marijuana.
“If you’re looking for medical marijuana, you can get that stuff without a prescription on the Internet,” Dressler once said at a commission meeting.
Finally, this past October, well past Dressler’s statements, the city commission eventually overturned the moratorium, and now dispensaries are free to open their doors in the city. That is if they choose too.
Residents now have an opportunity to learn more about medical marijuana and its benefits at a Medical Marijuana Summit hosted by the City of Tamarac and supported by the Broward County Medical Marijuana Advisory Board.
Tamarac’s Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton will be facilitating presentations and a panel discussion with the following experts:
Seth A. Hyman, President/CEO, Hempagenix; Arby Barroso, Co-founder, Green Roads; Dustin Robinson, Founding Partner, Mr. Cannabis Law; Daniel Sparks, Director of Compliance, Trulieve; Jeff Greene, VP of Marketing, the Florida Hemp Council; Michelle Weiner, MD, Faculty, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, and Florida Gulf Coast University; and Vijay S. Choksi, Esq., Compliance Manager, GrowHealthy.
“Medical marijuana is still relatively new to Florida, and there is a lot to learn about its medicinal value and about doing business in this highly regulated industry,” said Vice Mayor Bolton. “I think it’s important that people have the facts.”
Following the interactive panel discussion, the audience members will have an opportunity to have their questions answered. Attendees will also be able to interact with exhibitors representing medical marijuana treatment centers.
The Medical Marijuana Summit will be held Thursday, February 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Tamarac Community Center at 8601 W Commercial Blvd, Tamarac, FL 33351. Due to the limited capacity, registration is required.
Jason Perlow contributed to this article
Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk and Parkland Talk.
Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac.