Nadir speaks on cannabis sativa as it is scientifically known and its place in our paradoxical federal law which classifies “marijuana” as a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use”. This federal classification stands in opposition not only to 29 states including Washington D.C. with medical cannabis programs, but also in opposition to the countless stories of people treating a wide range of illnesses with cannabis. The federal illegality of cannabis places our society in a catch-22 where federal research approval must be granted by the same government angencies that adhere to the federal law. Research & inquiry will be the guiding light to illuminate the shadowy figure of cannabis, and academic institutions like Brown University are more than capable of breaking a barrier to fuse cannabis with academia. Nadir Pearson is a junior at Brown University where he has committed to the process fusing his passion for cannabis with visual arts i.e., photography & videography in order to produce content which speaks to the destigmatization of cannabis and larger sociological concepts. Nadir’s freshman year at Brown he was a cornerback on the university football team, but due to concussions, decided to make the transition to a career rooted in media & marketing. Nadir currently is the lead content creator for the official @Brown-U Snapchat account & acts as Creative Director for a student-led entertainment arts coalition named DIASPØRA. Since the start of the year, Nadir has been able to join Ardent Cannabis, a Boston based biotech company that prodcues a patented decarboxylator device which allows patients to optimize the bioavilability of their cannabis. Most recently, Nadir has established The Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency (SMART), an activism alliance with goals to educate the greater Brown community on their stake in the past, present, and future of cannabis. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at