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Mental Health, Wealth & Cannabis: What you NEED to know and share



Marijuana use is commonplace in some social environments but as laws become more open to use, serious consequences occur when violations of the law happen, especially within communities of color. The need for accurate and concise information is critical to help Florida residents avoid the consequences of not knowing or making the wrong decision.

This episode as seen in the sceen above when you click it, 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.

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. The phrase “you have to learn to walk before you can run” certainly applies to the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) team’s strategy for carrying out its mission. Step by step, we have been methodically establishing MMERI as the leading resource for educating “Florida’s diverse population about medical marijuana and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana,” as we’re mandated to do by the state Legislature. So how does a lean staff that’s base. So how does a lean staff that’s based at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee reach “Florida’s minority population?” By seeking and seizing opportunities that will help us raise awareness of the program whether on our own or through partnerships, one step at a time.

As seen in the map above, Florida law allows for marijuana use for medical purposes only

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.

Kid Cudi (above) is not only amazing and intrinsic to the music industry because of his relatable struggles in life, but because he created a new genre of music all together. Cudi has transcended from normal rap, hip hop, rock, alternative, and even neo-psychedelia music to create his own genre. bUT, Kid Cudi has dealt with depression and anxiety for the majority of his life. The rapper recently addressed his troubles with mental health in an Instagram post. “Sadness eats away at me sometimes,” he writes.


As men, we think we're invinsible, and that's not the case." Says Mendi. He's right. 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. As emotions such as fear and sadness are generally not as accepted, men might try to hide these from themselves and those around them. They feel that they should be able to cope on their own. Individuals might try to cope with 'negative' emotions in one or more of the following ways: Withdrawing from family and friends. Besides being sad, depressed people often feel disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. Such emotions can lead to violence in people who are predisposed to such behavior, especially when confronted with severe frustration. Mendie cited each of these issues as reasons we have to work to pull our loved ones out of the fog and get them the help they need.

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.

Mendie shared resource information including Florida's Department of Health website and suggested individuals seeking help can alsolook locally at churches, community groups and family members that care enough to help when and how they can.


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