Mental Health insight & legal Cannabis awareness

7-30-22

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This episode impacts both health and lifestyle. Marijuana is a popular recreational source for people of all ages, races and genders. This episode is important for several reasons. In #Florida, there are efforts to increase awareness and resources to citizens to understand the law, and help avoid legal consequences. In the new series called The Think Tank on IN FOCUS TV online, Tony Lesesne has an intense but informative and educational dialogue with #FAMU Medical Marijuana Research Initiative (MMERI) executive G.P. Mendie on the matter.

FAMU MMERI

The mission of the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative is to educate and inform Florida’s minority communities about medical marijuana and the potential consequence to health and well-being from recreational use. Florida Medical Marijuana Laws prohibit anyone in Florida to possess marijuana flower or buds unless it is sealed in a tamper-proof container sold at a dispensary. Even if you are a patient and have a valid medical marijuana card, it is still illegal to buy, possess or use recreational marijuana.



RACIAL DISPARITIES & CHANGING BEHAVIORS

Mendie shares his wisdom, insight and experience on this delicate but growing issue that is both a lifestyle and health issue. This is a message that we hope to get out to our audiences and ask you to share it. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, subjects of targeted law enforcement do not necessarily ‘get the message’ that they need to change their behavior.



A change in behavior is critical in minority communities. A 2020 analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, concluded, “Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, notwithstanding comparable usage rates. In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010.” This show also dives deeply into the issues and challenges that often lead to marijuana use.

DEPRESSION

Mendi and Lesesne address mental health, depression and isolation as potentially dangerous elements that drive individuals to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. An estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode.

This number represented 8.4% of all U.S. adults. The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (10.5%) compared to males (6.2%). Men with depression may feel very tired and lose interest in work, family, or hobbies. They may be more likely to have difficulty sleeping than women who have depression.

Sometimes mental health symptoms appear to be physical issues. Findings suggest the prevalence of depression among African American men ranges from 5% to 10%, they face a number of risk factors, yet evidence low use of mental health services. Consequently, depression among African American men needs to be at the forefront of our research, practice, and outreach agendas.





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