A meeting of The Cannabis and Children All-Party Parliamentary Group took place on 6th May 2014, in The House of Commons. The speakers were Professor John Kelly, Harvard University’s first professor in Addiction Medicine, founder of the Recovery Research Institute, consultant to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; and Jeff Brain, Dean of Admissions at Allynwood Academy, a boarding school for students with addiction problems. Lesley Jakeman attended the meeting on behalf of The Trust.
Professor Kelly spoke about his and others’ scientific research into cannabis addiction. He explained why cannabis is harmful; toxicity, intoxication and addiction being the key factors, particularly in adolescence, when the brain is still developing. He also spoke about treatment in the US. ( USA has approximately 14000 treatment centres for cannabis) Professor Kelly is shocked that UK has none.
Jeff Brain spoke about his work with students who have been “derailed in functioning” by cannabis, and why it happens. He talked about the popular myth that it is benign, the culture around cannabis, and the impact on families. Of all the addictions dealt with at his school, cannabis addiction is the most frequent and difficult to work with.
Lesley found the speakers’ talks informative, moving and supportive. She thanked them for their work in helping to raise awareness in this country of the danger of cannabis. Both Professor Kelly and Mr Brain kindly offered their support to The Luke and Marcus Trust.