Tampa, Florida-- It's in the history books. The very first class on medical marijuana is underway.
Packed into a hotel conference room in downtown Tampa, a group of 25 people listen to a professor of cannabis discuss the history and pharmacological aspects of what organizers call the next frontier in medicine.
"That's why this is a whole new frontier in medicine. There are chemical compounds in medical marijuana that can help a myriad of conditions. We should be able to do research and try and isolate these compounds to see if they can help patients with debilitating diseases," said Medical Marijuana Tampa founder Jeremy Bufford.
Chemical analysis of marijuana reveals two major compounds: THC, the chemical that gets you high, and CBD, a chemical that research has shown to stop seizures in epileptic children. CBD is the focus of medical marijuana.
"Let's bring this medicine to the forefront. It is morally irresponsible to know this can help patients, and not to give it to them. Plus, let's do further research to see what else is out there," said Bufford.
Because of the stigma surrounding pot, the identities of the students have been concealed. For many, discovery could lead to retribution from their families and their jobs.
"If this interview gets on tv, I'm wearing a mask. Until the time medical marijuana becomes legal, I must protect myself," said one student.
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