Kennedy Forum Report Speaks Against Marijuana in Mental Health Report

Super Bowl Ad Makes the Message Clear and Relevant

The Kennedy Forum report on mental health and addiction was released to  the 115th Congress three weeks ago. In the report Patrick Kennedy clearly indicates that marijuana legalization is detrimental to public health. Parents Opposed to Pot maintains that by preventing the initiation of drug use, the United States could cut its mental health care needs by 30 percent.  Marijuana promotion is contributing to our current crisis.  The Kennedy Forum published the following in its report to the 115th Congress:

“In the absence of such a campaign, social media and other channels are inundated with dangerous and incorrect information about drugs of initiation, including alcohol and marijuana. A fact-based campaign reiterating the emerging science, and reinforcing other efforts in schools and communities, is imperative.”

“This is especially needed in the current environment which is legitimizing misuse of certain substances, particularly alcohol and marijuana. It is impossible to grapple with substance use and mental health disorders without tackling drugs of initiation, like alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Congress should resist efforts to legalize and further legitimize marijuana. Our nation cannot afford to make the same mistakes with marijuana that we made with legal opioids or tobacco in the past. Congress should put a stop to efforts to legitimize marijuana businesses (for example, by strictly regulating the capacity at which banks can have financial dealings with marijuana businesses), lest we inadvertently support and encourage another entity whose profit motivates conflict with the public health interest of preventing substance misuse and addiction.

“We also need increased accountability from the transnational corporations that generate over $200 billion in revenue each year from the sale of beer, wine and liquor in the United States. Alcohol marketing is ubiquitous in our society, seen everywhere from Super Bowl television commercials to 10-second vertical video ads on Snapchat Live stories………..”

Stop Marketing Addiction to Children

Patrick Kennedy’s observations were also true about marijuana during the recent Super Bowl featuring a T-Mobile commercial with Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog joking about marijuana.  Millions of children watched the program and saw this attempt to normalize and promote cannabis use.  Yet a Columbia University case study presents the fact that using marijuana only once or twice can precipitate mental illness.

Those who have lost loved ones to addiction and psychotic disorders are deeply offended by T-Mobile, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog.   Such joking disguises the real dangers of using pot.  In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker cites three studies indicating that bipolar disorder can be triggered by marijuana use.  Many psychiatrists even need re-training in addictive and psychotic disorders due to the popularity and increased potency of today’s marijuana.

Download the entire PDF here: Navigating The New Frontier of Mental Health and Addiction a guide for the 115th Congress