The report goes on to say
Joycelyn Elders was never shy about speaking her mind as she consistently stirred public controversy while serving as surgeon general during her spirited – and short-lived – tenure with President Bill Clinton.
Now 82, Elders demurred just a bit when she was introduced Friday night at a reception at the International Cannabis Business Conference, a teeming marijuana politics and industry conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco.
“Everybody in this room knows more about cannabis than I do,” Elders began. “Twenty years ago, no one would even say the word ‘marijuana.’ ”
Except perhaps for Joycelyn Elders. She built a reputation as a maverick on marijuana and other public health issues as she irked the Clinton Administration in publicly discussing legalizing drugs, and amid the depths of the AIDS crisis, considering marijuana as an effective medicinal relief.
On Saturday morning, Elders formally opened the weekend marijuana policy conference with a fiery condemnation of America’s drug enforcement policies.
The marijuana legalization advocate called for an end to federal policy that classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no accepted medical use – listed as worse than methamphetamine or cocaine.
She called for increased federally sanctioned medical marijuana research and decriminalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use – as part of shifting resources from law enforcement to public health.