Florida A&M University (FAMU) Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) will host the first of a two-part series on, “Cannabis and Religion” in the Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum at noon on Thursday, April 29.
The episode will be streamed on Streamyard, Facebook live and YouTube, beginning at noon and will feature pastors Erta Livingston Jr., Ph.D., Leo Stoney and Lonnie Wesley.
Livingston earned his Ordination as Elder from the Church of God by Faith, Incorporated, and his Bachelor of Theology from Truth Bible College in Jacksonville, Florida. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Gainesville Church of God by Faith #1 and is CEO of Era Clay Livingston Jr. Ministries, Inc.
Stoney, who received his bachelor’s and master’s at Palm Beach Atlantic University, is the co-founder of Leaders by Empowerment-Activists by Development (L.E.A.D.) Nation Incorporated, which is a non-profit leadership organization in Miami. He serves as the Lead Pastor of the MaxOut Church in Melbourne, Florida.
Wesley, a 1992 graduate of Alabama State University, has a sports background having interned with the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns. After graduation, Wesley worked in the sports information and marketing department at Jackson State University and is now the pastor of Greater Little Rock Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida.
“Cannabis, as medicine, has increasingly become a subject of interest and discussion at dinner tables, family gatherings, and among patients and their physicians,” said MMERI Director Patricia Green-Powell, Ph.D. “As cannabis is progressively being legalized for medical use, a new discussion appears to be emerging within the church about whether or under what conditions its use would be appropriate.”
Host Heidi Otway will facilitate the consumer-focused conversation about medical marijuana and how it is perceived in religion. In minority communities, and especially the Black church, marijuana is taboo. However, that appears to be changing as more and more states make it legal for medical use.
The Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum is designed to educate, learn and talk with Floridians about the basics of marijuana for medical use and the unlawful use of marijuana.