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.
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