Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

Event Public Health
Event Public Health

April 18, 2019 Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

Co-hosted by

The Institute for Behavioral Health

Smart Approached to Marijuana

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The Heritage Foundation

214 Massacusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC

Featured Author

Alex Berenson

Born in New York, Alex Berenson attended Yale University and joined the New York Times in 1999. There, he covered subjects as diverse as the pharmaceutical industry and Hurricane Katrina and served two stints as a correspondent in Iraq. His time in Iraq led him to write "The Faithful Spy," his debut novel, which won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel. Currently, he writes fiction, and still occasionally contributes to the Times and other publications. "Tell Your Children" is his second nonfiction book.


An eye-opening report that reveals the link between extensive marijuana use and mental illness, as well as a hidden risk of violence linked to such use of the drug. With marijuana use soaring, and states from coast to coast legalizing the drug, award-winning author and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson warns that cannabis legalization advocates have misled Americans about the drug’s safety. For decades, advocacy groups have pushed dangerous myths about cannabis: it can treat many different diseases, it can solve the American opioid epidemic, and so forth. Americans have listened. Since 2006, and especially in the last few years, marijuana use has spiked. The United States now has higher rates of use than any other major country, and cannabis is far more potent than it was even 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, that growth has happened in the face of powerful new evidence that marijuana can be deeply harmful to mental health. Scientists agree that, for some people whom we cannot identify in advance, cannabis use can lead to psychosis, a mental break with reality that sometimes produces terrifying violence. Berenson has interviewed some of the world’s foremost experts on marijuana and mental illness and illustrated their views with stories of the real-world harm that marijuana can cause. Berenson elegantly builds his case. Deeply researched and elegantly written, Tell Your Children makes you question whether legalization is worth the risk.

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