TAMPA, Fla. -- Kim, Renee, Moriah, Suzanne. Those are some of the leading names pushing for legalized medical marijuana in Florida.
They all have loved ones facing a serious disease they believe the drug helps treat. Kim Edward’s mother suffers from leukemia.
"I think it would be very worth it to a lot of these people that are sick and suffering," Edwards said.
"It's going to help you feel better and it’s going to maybe assist in the current treatment plans that they’re doing now."
That's why they've joined thousands of others who are part of Women Grow. The national group hopes to deliver a unified message.
"Women Grow revolves around this as an industry and empowering women to be leaders in this as an industry," said Moriah Barnhart, a chair member for Women Grow.
Maria Malec is a health educator. She joined the marijuana movement believing natural methods to wellness are meant to be used.
"Things like cannabis and essential oils, they ignite a body’s own healing ability," she said.
Neuroscientist Greg Gerdeman sees the benefits of medical marijuana.
"It's real medicine. The science that supports cannabis as a therapeutic agent is as mainstream as science gets," he said.
There’s also passion mirrored on the other side of the debate. Many believe medical marijuana isn’t proven and can lead to addiction or substance abuse problems.
"I understand both sides. I’m the mom of under-aged kids too and they do realize that it is an illegal drug, but what we do is medicine. It’s an all-natural medicine," said Edwards.
And, they hope this is the year to make it officially legal.