Life with Moxie: Medical Marijuana symposium coming Nov. 1

So many among us believe marijuana is a dangerous drug when in fact it’s quite the opposite. The healing benefits of medical marijuana are undeniable and widely witnessed, hence there are 29 states where it is medicinally legal. That’s well over half the country that believes and voted, to have medical marijuana as an option to medicine.

Medical Marijuana is legal in Florida and less than 1% of Florida’s 55,000 doctors can order medical cannabis. However, according to Nick Garulay of, “Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. According to this classification, there is no medicinal value and it is listed alongside and as an equivalent to heroin. Insurance won’t cover it and the physicians recommending it are at risk of losing everything they’ve worked for.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, revered physician and CNN Medical Correspondent, once publicly apologized for writing an article titled “Why I Would vote no Pot,” in 2009 because he admitted he had not dug deep enough to find the research where it was being done and for ignoring the masses who were claiming medical benefit because he had decided they were just wanting to legalize so they could get high. Gupata stated “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” He went on to take it even further stating “In terms of making this legal for medicinal purposes — yes,” he said. “I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.”

There are so many powerful reasons for his decision to double down, not the least of which is the current opioid epidemic. In the United States, there is a death every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose. There has yet to be a single documented case of a drug overdose as a result of marijuana. “No one has ever over-dosed on marijuana- ever. Yet over 100 over-doses occurred per month in the past 7 months in Lee county, Florida alone. That’s 3.3 people per day. Chances are, someone has overdosed in Florida in the time you read this article,” said Garulay of

Barry Gordon, M.D., Dr. Barry, as he is affectionately known, is at the forefront of the medical cannabis movement. A 1981 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Medicine and a founding fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, Gordon said it wasn’t until decades into his medical career that he even began hearing the words “endocannabinoid system.” “It was my career in emergency medicine that drove me to find an alternative for my patients and research cannabis more,” Dr. Barry explained. “I like to think of my background as a bit of a social scientist. I’ve seen the dangers of alcohol and tobacco. I like to tell my patients that you can’t even compare the intoxication effects of alcohol to cannabis.”

“To do studies on marijuana in the United States today, you need two important things” says Gupta. “First of all, you need marijuana. And marijuana is illegal… Scientists can get research marijuana from a special farm in Mississippi, which is astonishingly located in the middle of the Ole Miss campus, but it is challenging. When I visited this year, there was no marijuana being grown. The second thing you need is approval, and the scientists I interviewed kept reminding me how tedious that can be. While a cancer study may first be evaluated by the National Cancer Institute, or a pain study may go through the National Institute for Neurological Disorders, there is one more approval required for marijuana: NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is an organization that has a core mission of studying drug abuse, as opposed to benefit.” Knowing this, it’s easier to see why only “about 6% of the current U.S. marijuana studies investigate the benefits of medical marijuana. The rest are designed to investigate harm.”

According to the article “WEED: Marijuana, Medicine and Neuroscience: History of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award,” in the Journal Neurosurgery, “for 2 years, Dr Gupta and his team of producers traveled the world, from Colorado and around the United States, to Great Britain, and to Israel to take a critical look at the research chronicling the impact of medical marijuana and the lives of those who use it. To make the material accessible to their audience, they used compelling personal cases to illustrate the uses of medical marijuana and their scientific underpinnings.”

Medical reporter Jen Christensen of CNN authored an article “10 diseases where medical marijuana could have impact” detailing the 10 ailments most commonly treated with medicinal marijuana. I have listed them here, exactly as she had written to maintain the accuracy and links she provided.


In ahuman study of 10HIV-positive marijuana smokers, scientists found people who smoked marijuana ate better, slept better and experienced a better mood. Another small study of 50 people found patients that smoked cannabis saw lessneuropathic pain.


Medical marijuana and some of the plant’s chemicals have been used to help Alzheimer’s patients gain weight, and research found that it lessens some of the agitated behavior thatpatients can exhibit.Inone cell study, researchers found itslowed the progressof protein deposits in the brain. Scientists think these proteins may be part of what causes Alzheimer’s, although no one knows what causes the disease.


Astudy of 58 patientsusing the derivatives of marijuana found they had less arthritis pain and slept better.Another review of studiesconcluded marijuana may help fight pain-causing inflammation.


Studies are contradictory, but some early work suggests it reduced exercise-inducedasthma. Other cell studies showed smoking marijuana could dilate human airways, but some patients experienced a tight feeling in their chests and throats.A study in micefound similar results.


Animal studieshave shown some marijuana extracts may kill certain cancer cells.Other cell studiesshow it may stop cancer growth,and with mice,THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, improved the impact of radiation on cancer cells. Marijuana can also prevent the nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy treatment used to treat cancer.

Chronic pain

Some animal and small human studies show that cannabinoids can have a“substantial analgesic effect.”People widely used them for pain relief in the 1800s. Some medicines based on cannabis such as Sativex are being tested on multiple sclerosis patients and used to treat cancer pain. The drug has been approved in Canada and in some European countries. In another trial involving56 human patients, scientists saw a 30% reduction in pain in those who smoked marijuana.

Crohn’s disease

Ina small pilot studyof 13 patients watched over three months, researchers found inhaled cannabis did improve life for people suffering fromulcerative colitisandCrohn’s disease. It helped ease people’s pain, limited the frequency of diarrhea and helped with weight gain.


Medical marijuana extract in early trials at theNYU Langone Medical Centershowed a 50% reduction in the frequency of certain seizures in children and adults in a study of 213 patients recently.


Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness.Scientists have lookedat THC’s impact on this disease on the optic nerve and found it can lower eye pressure, but it may also lower blood pressure, which could harm the optic nerve due to a reduced blood supply. THC can also help preserve the nerves,a small study found.

Multiple sclerosis

Using marijuana or some of the chemicals in the plant may helpprevent muscle spasms, pain, tremorsand stiffness, according to early-stage,mostly observational studiesinvolving animals, lab tests and a small number of human patients. The downside — it may impair memory, according toa small study involving 20 patients.

On November 1 at the Hilton Naples is hosting an unprecedented Educational Symposium: CANNABIS SPEAKS. Featuring the most sought-after industry experts to discuss the profound benefits cannabis offers for conditions like Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis.

Learn what Cannabis can do for you from the industry’s most prominent experts, Speakers include:

Tripp Keber, the CEO of Dixie Brands and internationally recognized advocate. Mr. Keber is one of the medical marijuana pioneers, introducing THC infused products to the market. His extensive knowledge of cannabis and the cannabis industry is unprecedented.

Barry Gordon, M.D., President & Chief Medical Officer of the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic. Dr. Gordon is a thirty-year veteran of emergency room medicine- most notably dealing with drug addicts and overdoses. “It was my career in emergency medicine that drove me to find an alternative for my patients and research cannabis more. I’ve seen the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and more… you can’t even compare the effects.”

Bill Monroe, U.S. Navy combat veteran and the director of dispensary management for 3 Boys Farm, is one of the most recent license holders in Florida and a very well respected advocate in the Florida Cannabis community.

Sai Maa, World-renowned spiritual master, healer, and humanitarian. With a unique fusion of Eastern spiritual wisdom, Western therapeutic knowledge. Sai Maa holds the prestigious title of Jagadguru, the highest title in the Vedic tradition of India. She is the first woman to receive this title in the 2,700 years of the Vishnuswami lineage.

Cade Copeland, D.C., owner of LIFEstrength Health Center. Dr. Copeland specializes in functional medicine, chiropractic, nutrition and detox, offing a holistic lifestyle approach to whole body healing and wellness.

Pat Deluca, Executive Director of the Compassionate Cannabis clinic. He has pioneered the Medical Marijuana program in Florida since the passing of Amendment 2.

Joseph Rosado, M.D., licensed with the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, Dr. Rosado specializes in qualifying conditions and how to treat them with Medical Marijuana.

Event is moderated by Nick Garulay, Founder and CEO of My Florida Green, the first and only patient access portal and ancillary physician platform that facilitates Medical Marijuana recommendations in Florida.

Help yourself, help a loved one, help a friend by attending Cannabis Speaks, November 1 at the Hilton Naples.

General admission tickets are $49.00 and are available online.

Sponsored in part byDragon Horse Media

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