P> - Marc Brandl for DRCNet
On Wednesday afternoon (5/27), Greg Scott, who uses medical marijuana to treat symptoms of AIDS, was arrested for reportedly shouting and interrupting an anti-medical marijuana conference. Details were sketchy as of press time, but supporters of Scott, who was a registered participant of the conference, were told by police officers he would be booked and have to post bail.
The conference taking place in Orlando, Florida this week, entitled "Marijuana Education Summit: Training the Trainer" is featuring such speakers as former drug czar William Bennett, Rep. Bill McCullum, DEA Chief Adminstrator Thomas Constantine, former NIDA director and highly paid drug testing consultant Dr. Robert DuPont, and others. Sponsored by a myriad of top anti-drug and law enforcement groups such as the Drug Free America Foundation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the summit's focus is medical marijuana and state initiatives. A brochure claims, "participants will receive current and comprehensive information about how these initiatives will impact health care, crime in our communities, the work place and our children". Topics include: "History of the 'medical' marijuana movement", "Teens, children and the mixed message of 'medical marijuana' and, "The hidden agenda behind 'medical' marijuana messages".
Medical marijuana advocates have serious doubts about the openness of the summit to ideas other than prohibition. In a press release by the Florida group Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana (CAMM), Irvin Rosenfeld, one of the eight patients who receives medical marijuana from the government states, "Although the brochure claims they will present 'comprehensive information' on medical marijuana, there's no one talking about the benefits of medical marijuana. I offered to debate any one of the top guns they've brought from Washington, but they refuse." The group planned to hold a press conference on Wednesday as well as pass out copies of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts to all of the 200 participants attending.
The summit is taking place in Florida where a major effort has recently begun to collect signatures for a medical marijuana initiative in '99.
For more information on Florida's medical marijuana initiative and related news, visit the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana home page at http://www.medicalrights.org or call (954) 763-1799.