iOS app Android app

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Jesse Benn

Jesse Benn

Posted: September 22, 2010 04:38 PM

The Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference plans to add some mainstream credibility to the controversial subject of medical marijuana in Denver this weekend. The PME/HPC brings actor and comedian Richard Belzer to town as well as a number of experts on the subject.

Belzer, who is best known for his role on Law and Order SVU, will moderate a debate on medical marijuana Saturday afternoon at 4:30. Belzer answered questions about the PME/HPC as well as his personal experience with medical marijuana.

Seth Ginsberg, co-founder and president of TGI Healthworks, the company producing the PME/HPC, recently answered a few questions for me about the purpose of the expo and what to expect. Read the whole interview below.

The Huffington Post: What makes the PME/HPC different from other medical marijuana expos?

Seth Ginsberg: Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference is the most substantial gathering of medical, scientific and legal experts in the medical marijuana field. It provides an opportunity for the public - patients, caregivers and healthcare providers - to learn about medical cannabis in an upscale, professional environment. Many other marijuana festivals cater to the cannabis industry, and PME/HPC aims to include the general public and those seeking more information about cannabis. There will be no tattoo artists or rock bands at this conference. People diagnosed with chronic diseases, their family and doctors are the primary audience for PME/HPC.

HP: What are the main goals of the PME/HPC?

SG: The goal of PME/HPC is to enable a thorough, professional conversation about medical cannabis to occur, weighing objective evidence and raising legitimate questions of researchers as well as the medical community. The public is aware of the controversy surrounding marijuana. PME/HPC is an opportunity for the public to learn the facts

HP:
About how many people do you expect to attend?

SG: This initial conference will attract approximately 1,000 Colorado citizens interested in learning more about medical marijuana, and educational materials from the seminars will be available to millions of people via the internet.

HP: Is this the first event of its kind that you and TGI Healthworks have been involved in?

SG: TGI Healthworks has produced hundreds of health education programs for doctors and patients in more than 150 U.S. cities since 1999. This is the first event focused solely on medical marijuana that TGI has produced, with additional events planned in other states where medical cannabis is legal.

HP: Why did you decide to become involved with the medical marijuana industry?

SG: The unmet need of the healthcare community is a high quality discourse about the risks and benefits of medical cannabis. Throughout the years, at events produced for people with chronic pain, arthritis, diabetes and other chronic diseases, a large number of patients have asked the presenting physicians about medical cannabis. This pointed to the importance of providing an environment where the public could learn about the drug as an adjunct treatment for a variety of conditions.

The expo will take place September 25-26 at the Denver Sheraton Downtown hotel.

To learn more or to register to attend the Plant Medicine Expo, visit www.PlantMedicineExpo.com.

Look for our full coverage of the PME/HPC next week, including interviews with Richard Belzer, Seth Ginsberg and more.