Several times over the years I have spoken to lawmakers as a subject matter expert on cannabis pharmacology. This presentation to the bicameral Medical Cannabis Task Force in Tennessee (2017) allowed by far the most in-depth discussion.

Frankly, giving testimony to lawmakers usually involves a brief meeting at best, or typically a 2-3 minute time slot at a legislative committee meeting. I fully expected to get cut short here, but these officials listed attentively for a full hour!

This is a no-nonsense talk that addresses:

  • The history of cannabis, including its position of importance to revered founders of Western Medicine. It is greatly under-recognized that cannabis first came to the US in the handbags of physicians.
  • The stigma that lingers from decades of prohibition propaganda, and its racist, xenophobic justifications.
  • The many serious medical conditions that can be legitimately treated by cannabis, and some of the biological rationale to explain it.

I came prepared to give a PowerPoint, but there were Wi-Fi challenges in the assembly room, located in the basement under the granite fortress that is the state capitol building in Nashville. Moreover, it felt like I had the opportunity to talk with these legislators, rather than at them. I hope this video will continue to be used to educate, and inspire others to speak to policy makers confidently.

Greg Gerdeman

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