Speaking Engagement Opportunities

Heidi Swan Headshot

Hello Friends of Steered Straight,

Most teens have not heard the scientific data linking youth marijuana use to an increased risk for mental illnesses. I know first-hand because it happened to me and my brother when we were young.

Like Michael De Leon, my approach as a speaker is to weave my very personal stories with the latest research. This message has never been as urgent as it is today because of the ultra-high potency products on the market that carry even more risks than the marijuana I used 40 years ago.

Fox.com and NBC-LA have interviewed me about my message (see below).  I have spoken for a wide range of audiences: from Continuing Education for lawyers and fiduciaries to a high school class to Smart Approaches to Marijuana to the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State to a juvenile detention facility to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Whoever I am addressing, I adjust the content and length of my presentation. In every instance, I present vital information in a relatable way.

In addition to being a speaker, I co-authored the first and only Young Adult fictional novella which illustrates many of the negative impacts of marijuana, including Cannabis-Induced Psychosis (a diagnosis in the DSM-5). The story is called A Night In Jail.*

A Night In Jail is inspired by my brother’s true life as a homeless drug addict with schizophrenia who went to jail eighteen times. We wrote the book together and adapted it into a short film and a play for the stage.

Speaking Topics

(and short excerpts from previous presentations)

“Cannabis- Induced Psychosis: Why My Brother and I wrote A Night In Jail”



“THC Potency Has Increased. Does This Increase the Risk for Mental Illness?”



“Screening of the 18 min Teen-Led Short Film A Night In Jail**-- Following will be a Scientific Discussion Based on the A Night In Jail Toolkit”


Additional Videos

Fox.com: My Comments to Chuck Schumer About Legalization


NBC-LA: A Night in Jail: A Short Film Aimed at Preventing Homelessness



*Please see over 200 4.5-star reviews on Amazon

**(for authenticity, there is swearing in the film)


I am available to speak to your group live or on Zoom. Please contact Steered Straight to book me.

Thank you,


Heidi A. Swan

Stanford Teaching Cannabis Awareness Conference
Please see the kind comments in the chat about my presentation for the 2021 webinar hosted by the Stanford Awareness and Prevention Toolkit.


Great work by everyone!
Such an amazing workshop! thank you Heidi, so informational and touching!
Thanks for providing this powerful video tool!