FAMU Takes the Lead in Educating Communities of Color About Marijuana

Early this summer, Florida newspapers reported that FAMU had been selected by the state to lead education efforts in minority communities concerning the use of medical marijuana and the drug’s illegal use.



“Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University will be a key source of how to best reach minority communities with messages about health,” said Rodner Wright, FAMU interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, in an email. “The University’s outreach plan could be a template on how to best reach minority communities with critical lifesaving and quality of life information. We are delighted that Florida lawmakers recognize FAMU’s potential and expertise.”

Indeed, the state of Florida approached FAMU about taking the lead in these education efforts. Now that medical marijuana is recognized as providing a broad range of health benefits—from easing the effects of chemotherapy to being a possible alternative to addictive opioids—this role could be cutting-edge for the historically black college.


Legal in Florida


Florida Health has an Office of Medical Marijuana Use, which has been charged with writing the rules, overseeing the statewide registry, and licensing businesses that will cultivate, process, and dispense the drug to eligible patients. The school will receive a percentage of each license issued, as well as $10 from the $75 identification card that allows approved patients to purchase medical marijuana. These funds will be used to develop the school’s education program.

Of course, however, marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.

Wright says that FAMU’s expertise in health and its ability to engage minority communities made it a likely choice to execute the education campaign. The school has programs in Allied Health Sciences, Nursing, Public Health Education, Agriculture, Research, Communications, and Continuing Education.

To learn more about FAMU, visit its website.