CHICAGO (CBS) — Medical professionals, lawmakers and activists are meeting at Navy Pier for the Chicago Cannabis Conference.

The conference hosted by My Compassion is designed to raise awareness and generate discussion on medical marijuana. The group’s founder Heidi Parikh says she can’t make medical claims, but has seen how the use of the plant saves lives.

She says it is time to get rid of the 1970s stigma that marijuana is bad for you and take a good hard look at its benefits.

“Don’t close your ears to cannabis anymore. Cancer is an epidemic in our country,” said Parikh. “We need to look at other options.”

The two-day conference wraps up Sunday.

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