In-Person, Virtual, and Recorded Presentations by Laura Stack, Johnny’s mom
“This was truly the best presentation I’ve seen to date on the current state of marijuana. Those of us who work in prevention need to fully understand what you shared with us.”
– Carie Wimberly, Executive Director, Addiction Prevention Coalition
“I was very moved to hear your story, and I am very grateful for the fact that you have been so dedicated to teaching teens about the downfalls of marijuana; from what I have learned, the negatives definitely outweigh the minimal, short-term positives. I have found this course to be very informing, and I never knew that the effects of smoking marijuana could be so severe.”
– A high school teen in NJ
Who is Laura Stack?
Laura Stack is Johnny Stack’s mom and the Founder & CEO of Johnny’s Ambassadors. In the business world for the previous 30 years, Laura was better known by her professional moniker, The Productivity Pro®. She is a Hall-of-Fame Speaker and corporate spokesperson for many major brands. Laura is a bestselling author of eight books on time management topics with a large social media following, and she has given keynote speeches and training seminars to major corporate, association, and government audiences for three decades.
On November 20, 2019, Laura suddenly acquired the undesired wisdom of knowing what it’s like to lose one’s child, when her 19-year-old son, Johnny, died by suicide. He became psychotic after dabbing and vaping high-potency marijuana concentrates and thought the mob was after him.
Laura’s world took a 180. She knew so little about the harms of marijuana and was determined to teach other parents so the same thing wouldn’t happen to them. She filed for and received 501c3 nonprofit status for Johnny’s Ambassadors, Inc., with the mission to educate parents and teens about the dangers of today’s high-THC marijuana on adolescent brain development, mental illness, and suicide.
Laura wrote the bestselling book, The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story, with 300 pages and 176 scientific notations about what happened. Described as a woman with unstoppable drive and unwavering purpose, Laura hopes to help other parents, grandparents, teachers (and frankly all adults with teens in their lives) by honestly and boldly sharing Johnny’s story of his high-potency marijuana use, psychosis, and suicide.
The devastating loss of her child gives Laura a powerful voice and a platform for change. Johnny’s story has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, PBS, and Dr. Phil. Laura sees it as her responsibility to share Johnny’s warning to prevent other families from having to go through what she did and save other young lives.
Laura’s platform now brings marijuana education, awareness, and prevention curriculum around the U.S. to raise awareness of THC use, mental illness, and suicide. She speaks in middle schools, high schools, and universities across the U.S. sharing Johnny’s warning with young people. She also gives in-person and virtual keynotes for drug prevention conferences, suicide prevention conferences, coalition community events, parent nights, corporate wellness programs, and government agencies.
Laura is the recipient of the 2020 Drug-Free America Foundation’s Moxie Award for protecting youth from substances, the 2021 Leadership in Advocacy Award from the National Speakers Association, and the 2022 Loss Survivor of the Year award from the American Association of Suicidology. By sharing Johnny’s own warning about marijuana, Laura is determined to start a movement to bring teen marijuana use, mental illness, and suicide into the spotlight and get them to #StopDabbing.
Laura lives with her husband near Denver, Colorado and has two surviving adult children, ages 27 and 21.
“Forge ahead despite your pain and give meaning to your loss.” – Laura Stack
Laura mostly speaks at middle schools, high schools, and colleges, parent nights, coalition and community events, drug prevention conferences, suicide prevention conference, mental health conferences, corporate wellness programs, law enforcement conferences. and for anyone working with youth. Laura is generally the opening keynote/general session speaker but also offers breakout sessions and webinars.
“One of the best presentations I have ever heard in my 10+ years working in child welfare/prevention. I am STILL thinking about it and have shared with others. You are amazing.”
– SARAH WIEDENHOEFT / AMP Statewide Coordinator, IA
Program Description: Adult/Parent Version
Presentation Title: The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story
Laura Stack’s 19-year-old son, Johnny, died by suicide on November 20, 2019, after becoming delusional from dabbing high-THC marijuana concentrates. Soon afterward, Laura started a 501c3, Johnny’s Ambassadors, to educate parents and teens about the dangers of today’s high-THC marijuana on adolescent brain development, mental illness, and suicide. In this session, Laura will share the story of Johnny’s marijuana addiction from a parent’s point of view, a poignant chronicle of the shocking descent from innocence to eventual suicide. Before marijuana, Johnny was a computer whiz with a 4.0 GPA and a perfect math score on the SAT. After marijuana, he stole his family dog from the home and threatened to kill it without payment from his mother. With moving candor, Laura traces the first warning signs, their attempts at rehabilitation, her desperation, and his eventual demise. Three days before his death, Johnny issued his own warning about marijuana usage. Through this tragic tale, Stack hopes to use her pain to help parents talk to their children about the dangers of today’s marijuana. Participants will hear a first-hand account of the death of a teen from marijuana use and be educated on the harms of marijuana on adolescent brain development, mental illness, and suicide. Laura’s real-life story is backed by recent scientific-based research on how today’s potent THC products lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, psychosis, and sadly, suicidal ideation. This presentation is a clarion call for parents across America to educate themselves about the risks of today’s high-THC marijuana products and to better understand the potentially devastating effects on youth mental health.
- Learn About the High-Potency Marijuana Products Used by Today’s Youth
- Discover the Effect of THC on Adolescent and Teen Brain Development
- See the Results of Legalizing Medical Marijuana for 18-Year-Old’s in Colorado
- Understand How Adolescent Marijuana Use Can Lead to Mental Illness and Psychosis
- Understand the Connection Between Marijuana and Suicide in Youth
Laura’s presentation titles may be changed to fit your conference theme or her topic focus. Here are some previous presentation titles:
- A Parent’s Worst Nightmare: How My Son Died from Marijuana Psychosis
- Saving Our Youth from the Harms of Marijuana: Adolescent Brain Development, Mental Health, and Suicide
- Legalized Marijuana’s Impact in Colorado: the Experiment on Our Youth and Bill 1317
- The Gifts of Grief: How I Survived My 19-Year-Old Son’s Suicide
Program Description: Teen/Student Version
“I wanted to share that we had a student recognize she was having issues from marijuana due to your talk, and she shared it with her mom and asked for counseling to help her stop. The mother called us and let her know that the Laura Stack program may have saved her daughter. That was an awesome call, and I wanted you to know.“
– Sharon Perkins, Stone County MO Coalition
Laura Stack’s 19-year-old son, Johnny, died by suicide on November 20, 2019, after becoming delusional from dabbing high-THC marijuana concentrates. Soon afterward, Laura started a nonprofit organization, Johnny’s Ambassadors, to educate parents and teens about the dangers youth marijuana use. Before marijuana, Johnny was a computer whiz with a 4.0 GPA and a perfect math score on the SAT. After marijuana, he stole his family dog from the home and threatened to kill it without payment from his mother. Three days before his death, Johnny issued his own warning about his marijuana usage. Through this tragic tale, Stack hopes to help teens understand how marijuana can harm them. Laura’s teen presentation tells Johnny’s story and covers the potential harms of today’s high-THC marijuana products to teens.
- Who’s Johnny?
- “Then” vs. “Now” marijuana
- Why do youth use marijuana?
- Is marijuana medicine?
- Adolescent brain development (with videos)
- Impacts of THC use on adolescents (cartoon series)
- Risks of mental illness, psychosis, and suicide
- How the marijuana industry markets to youth (with media examples)
- You are your brain’s BFF: take care of it
- Recognizing risky situations and learning refusal skills
Keynote Speeches and Seminars
(live or virtual)
“Dear Laura, I just finished listening to the webinar you did for us and had to take a moment to thank you. Thank you for your passion and persistence. This webinar was the best I have ever attended. The information you shared was priceless, practical, and will save lives. There were so many takeaways for me but this one says it all: “Silence implies permission.” Your passion has re-ignited my passion to not be silent about marijuana and the many other issues we address. I am so sorry for your loss of Johnny, an amazing son! Thank you for sharing his life with all of us. Gratefully,
– Jean Schumm, President & Founder, Operation Parent”
Program on “Medical” Marijuana
Laura also speaks about “Medical” Marijuana to legislators and what happens when an 18-year-old young person like Johnny is legally able to get a medical marijuana card for “chronic pain” and re-sell it illegally to others. Laura was on the large coalition that passed Colorado House Bill 21-1317, which put important guardrails in place to protect our youth and regulate marijuana concentrates in legal markets. She addresses the dangers of today’s high-THC marijuana on adolescent brain development from illegal use of marijuana by minors and NOT the legal use of adults over the age of 21. Her goal in all her talks is to raise awareness of the connection between adolescent THC use, mental illness, and suicide.
All speaking fees are paid to the order of Johnny’s Ambassadors, EIN 85-0593925.
Please contact us for current rates (we will try hard to work with your budget). Options:
IN-PERSON presentation: flat fee
VIRTUAL WEBINAR presentation: complimentary use of our GoToWebinar platform if desired
VIDEO VIEWING: license to show a prior presentation to your group
Pre/Post Results After a Presentation at a NJ High School March 2022
Positive % increases represent improvements in these numbers (some are reverse scored). We can run this same survey before and after Laura’s presentation at your school as well.
Spokesperson. She is or has been a spokesperson for Fellowes, Xerox, Dannon, Belvita, Microsoft, 3M, WB Mason, Office Depot, QVC, and Day-Timer.
Media-savvy: Laura has appeared on CNN, QVC, CBS “This Morning,” Fox News, and countless local and national TV and radio programs, as well as in print and web publications such as People Magazine, USA Today, CNN.com, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Platform. Laura has given 60-80 keynote speeches and seminars a year for nearly 30 years. She has 28K+ twitter followers and 15K+ LinkedIn followers.
Prestigious client base. Her productivity-improvement programs have helped 500+ clients such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Heinz, IBM, Aramark, and VISA.
Notoriety. Laura enjoys a high profile, visible industry presence as a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. She was the 2011-2012 President of the National Speakers Association and on its board for 10 years.
- Calvina Fay MOXIE Award winner from the Drug-Free America Foundation
- QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper
- LivingWorks Start Training in Suicide Prevention
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification
- Hall of Fame keynote speaker, CPAE
- Certified Speaking Professional, CSP
- Masters of Business Administration, MBA
- Past President of the National Speakers Association
- Experienced media authority
- Experienced with obtaining high-level sponsors and partnerships
- Spokesperson for large brands
- Large existing community of followers
- Author of nine books by major publishers including The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story.