Marijuana did, though. It helped control the anxiety, the fear that had marked Edwards' life.
“My life has just completely turned around.”
Edwards is frustrated with Iowa's pace on the issue. In 2010, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy formally stated marijuana has medicinal uses but left it to the Legislature to take action on how it could be used by patients. The Legislature has not done so.
“They don't even want to hear the arguments,” Edwards said.
Littlejohn created Saturday's event in part to give Edwards a stage in southeast Iowa. The idea was to provide an opportunity for education without the stereotypes that can surround the issue. Social media spread the word, with people clearly warned this was to be an expo without any of the actual subject matter present. “Bring your buddies. Leave your bud at home,” was one slogan.
It didn't draw as many people as Littlejohn had hoped. The expo's Facebook page showed over 400 people saying they would attend. But Saturday afternoon there were maybe 50 in attendance. And that was if you counted the band that had just arrived to play.
Both Littlejohn and Edwards believe there is considerable support for some sort of reform to the current laws under the surface. But people don't feel safe advocating for it because of the reactions of others. There can be social repercussions, but also potential fallout at the workplace.
“There's a lot of people who support it, but most have to stay in the closet,” Littlejohn said.
So the goal for now remains exposure. Supporters believe the facts are on their side if they can just get them to people. That leads to events like the one on Saturday.
It's an uphill fight, organizers admit. And there's no guarantee of success.