Medical Marijuana Legalization Grows

Medical marijuana– Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana is cannabis and cannabinoids that are prescribed by doctors for their patients.


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States where medical marijuana has been legalized and where it has yet to be


The above map shows what states had legalized medical marijuana as of 2016. As of April 20th, 29 states have made medical marijuana legal with the latest being Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Florida in 2016 as well as West Virginia in here in 2017. Although, here in West Virginia smoking is not a method that has been approved by the bill, the conditions that are approved have been:

“Chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions that result in a patient being admitted into Hospice or receiving palliative care; chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions or the treatment of chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions that produce: Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication; severe nausea; seizures; severe or persistent muscle spasms; refractory generalized anxiety disorder; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”

Although medical marijuana can have positive effects with helping relieve symptoms, it can also have short-term/ long-term side effects. Those side effects can include changing your mood as well as disrupting your short-term memory and decision-making ability. Being that they are short-term, they only last from 1-3 hours. The long-term side effects could include respiratory problems, like a higher risk of lung infections.

Since this is something that seems to be beneficial, more and more states are starting to legalize it and(hopefully) soon all 50 states will have legalized. It is such a natural way to relieve the pain instead of heavy medications (unless those are needed of course). Medical marijuana is making a breakthrough and will, without a doubt, eventually be the new go to prescription.



Guarded: Carrying pepper spray, other small weapons

In class at the beginning of the semester, we briefly discussed the ways women attempt to protect themselves while walking alone at night. When sticking your keys between your fingers to create makeshift brass knuckles was brought up, the men seemed surprised, while the women all nodded and confirmed that this is a real thing.

The men also acknowledged that they often didn’t feel the need to protect themselves while walking alone, while most of the women admitted to having some kind of weapon on them at all times.

I’ll just come out and say it: I’m afraid of walking alone. I like to walk with my keys in hand, where my pepper spray is easily accessible, and I move as fast as my little legs can take me.

And while I’m glad that I’ve never had to use that pepper spray—which has definitely expired since I bought it—I’m had some close encounters that I’m sure other women can relate to.

The one that I remember most vividly took place my freshman year here at WVU. This was back when Pierpont Hall was still a dorm, and I was walking past Towers alone around 9 p.m. when I heard a male student say to his friend, “watch this,” and he proceeded to follow me down the split in the sidewalk while his friend stayed on the other sidewalk and laughed.

In a moment of panic and uncertainty, I unlocked my pepper spray and picked up my pace, trying to get into any light surrounding the building. The two students, satisfied with the laugh they got out of making me fear for my life, continued into Towers as I all but ran to my dorm.

The thing about this situation is that it’s not the worst almost-encounter. Aleanbh Ní Chearnaigh described one on ThoughtCatalog that involved a person who was under the influence of drugs aggressively pursuing her.

Within this post she describes her “go-to trick” for deciding whether or not she is being followed by someone. Her go-to trick…isn’t there something wrong when people have anti-assault tricks that they have used enough times to believe that they won’t fail?

Or when someone has created an art installation that depicts the different weapons women carry to fend off attackers?

Photo: Taylor Yocom
Photo: Taylor Yocom
Photo: Taylor Yocom

I carry pepper spray because I feel safer with it. However, a Canadian lawmaker said that legalizing pepper spray encourages victim shaming and does not put the blame on offenders.

Leah Severson gave multiple reasons why women shouldn’t care pepper spray, but I’m not sure I agree with her. In fact, the only concern of hers that I can agree with is the fear of spraying mace when the wind is blowing toward you, resulting in a face full of capsicum.

Severson mentions the worry that you have to have good aim, but capsicum causes inflammation, so even if you don’t get an assailant’s eyes, they’ll still feel some pain.

What concerns do you have about pepper spray? Do you carry a weapon when you walk alone, or is it something that you don’t typically think about?

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino: a hot mess

Last week, coffee giant Starbucks launched its limited edition Unicorn Frappuccino, a multi-colored, mango-flavored blended beverage. Its bright, swirling colors, along with its name, as well as the novelty of the drink itself, turned the Unicorn Frappuccino into an overnight social media star.

Nowadays, it seems the world is tailor-made for social media; big-name brands and household names are made on platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

It is no secret that social media plays a huge role in blowing things out of proportion; it turns mass hysteria into something you hold in the palm of your hand. From politics to sports to fashion, no one industry is exempt from the power of social media.

So, it only makes sense that the food and beverage industry was quick to cash in on the business social media can bring. The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, New York rose to fame after their original rainbow bagel went viral, while Acai smoothie bowls quickly became the world’s most photogenic food.

[source: MTL blog]
Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino was an ideal candidate for this new wave of consumer-drive social media advertising; its mix of blue, pink and purple ingredients, along with a topping of whipped cream and colorful sprinkles, made it easily Instagram-able. Not to mention, no two Unicorn Fraps look exactly the same, so everyone was eager to show the world his or her version of the limited edition beverage.

On Snapchat, the frap (which does not contain any coffee) even had its own filter that turns users into a unicorn holding—you guessed it—a Unicorn Frappuccino. So, even if you didn’t take part in the drink itself, you could still promote it on social media.

While it seems everyone on Facebook and Instagram made the trip to Starbucks for a Unicorn Frappe, I found a great deal of criticism, too. Most notably, the Washington Post published an article on Thursday, April 20, depicting a barista’s experience making and selling Unicorn Frappe’s.

“Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino tastes like sour birthday cake mixed with a creamsicle covered in Pixie Stix and a healthy sprinkling of despair. But that doesn’t really matter. The drink, released in participating stores nationwide on Wednesday, exists only to be Instagrammed.

That hasn’t stopped people from ordering it. The Instagram hashtags for Starbucks and unicorn are flooded with the Lisa Frank-colored drink. And on Twitter, users are complaining that the drink has sold out at several locations,” Maura Judkis writes.

“It appears that Starbucks baristas don’t really like the drink, either. Braden Burson, a barista in Colorado, published a video rant on Twitter about the drink, saying that it is difficult to make and very messy. (The video has been deleted from his account.)

‘Please don’t get it!’ he said in the video. ‘I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.’”

The Washington Post also notes that, on a Reddit forum for Starbucks baristas, “complaints have been rolling in. One barista called it the ‘frap from hell.’ Another posted a photo giving the Unicorn Frappuccino advertisement the finger,” Judkis continues.

[source: Wide Open Eats]
A number of baristas also took to Twitter to express their discontentment towards the beverage.

@fairlyfamous writes, “As a barista, just know that every time you ask me to make this, a part of me dies #unicornfrappuccino.”

@dominiquealxs says, “I’m so glad my store sold out of the ingredients to make the unicorn frappuccino. I won’t have to live through that hell this weekend.”

According to the Starbucks website, a 16-ounce Unicorn Frap, made with whole milk and topped with whipped cream, contains 410 calories (140 from fat), 16 grams of fat (1o grams of saturated fat), 230 milligrams of sodium and 62 grams carbohydrates (59 grams of sugar).

So, this 16-ounce drink contains more sodium than 6 cans of Pepsi And, according to the American Heart Association, it contains more sugar than any man or woman should eat in a day.

(The American Heart Association claims that a man should consume no more than 37.5 grams of sugar per, while a woman should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. The Unicorn Frap accounts for more than double a woman’s recommended daily sugar intake.)

Additionally, the Unicorn Frap contains a myriad of artificial ingredients, such as maltodextrin, which is a “filler or preservative in many processed foods,” according to Dr. Axe, and dextrose, an artificial sweetener.

OMG, Finals Already?!

Yes, that’s right! It is that time of year when coffee becomes your main source of energy, sleep does not exist, and anxiety/stress is your best friend. If you are anything like me, it feels as if someone pressed the panic mode button, and you feel like you have so much to do in so little time.

Photo Credit

Here at West Virginia University, an e-mail was sent out to every student offering a free workshop to help students manage their stress and finding balance within their lives. The workshop will be held Tuesday, April 25th (today) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in CPASS Room G06 in the Health and Education Building.

It’s definitely reassuring to know that your University knows how difficult the end of the semester can be, so a workshop on coping with finals and moving back home is definitely resourceful.

Now, I am not here to give you tips on how to deal with anxiety and stress when it comes to finals, but I am here to explain what happens if you don’t do the things CPASS or any professional tells you to do.

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Take a second and think about it…what do you think will happen if you do not plan out a schedule for studying, let your mind get into deep thoughts, or spend time worrying about finals rather than spending time organizing your exam materials? Just even thinking about what I just wrote is freaking me out!

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Not having a plan will definitely add more weight to your stress and can cause panic attacks, cramming anxiety, and definitely no confidence. It is important to breathe and take your time when it comes to preparing for finals, and it is important to also get your sleep and nutrition.

Not receiving help or advice on how to manage your stress can really affect and impact you mentally. You may think that pulling all nighters in the library will help you get the A on your final chem test but honestly, it may actually hurt you. Also, not taking a break between your studying can be too much for your brain as well.

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According to a Huffington Post article, research shows that if you pull all-nighters to cram in your studying, your grades will be lower, your memory will get worse, your study methods are less effective, lack of sleep can lead to short-term euphoria, and you’re more likely to suffer a stroke as you age.

You tell me, is it worth it? Is it worth waiting until the last minute to try and study and stay up all night? Is it worth the extra anxiety or headaches? I think not. 




Therapy Dogs Make Finals Easier

If you’ve been on West Virginia University’s campus in the past few years, you may have seen some furry faces.

In 2013, the university began introducing therapy dogs, trained by the Hearts of Gold program to various colleges and dorms around campus. They are meant to bring stress levels down, especially around the upcoming finals week through various activities and just roaming campus.

There’s Omega, Marlon Brando, and more, each with their own personalities and social media accounts.

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But as another finals week approaches us, do students feel that these animals help them cope?

Makenzie Keepers is with the College of Engineering and says Marlon Brando is a calming presence.

“When you sit in the ELC, he’ll walk around and come up to you and just say hello.”

However, she also says there have been events dedicated to petting the therapy dogs.

“I’ve definitely heard of some that they have in my dorm. They just have the dogs come and you can go down and visit with them.”

Jamie Samples is an employee who has worked with Service Dogs at The University of North Carolina.

“I actually coordinated an event where I brought therapy dogs in the last week of exams and let students just pet them to ease their stress. It was very successful there.”

Over the years, students have shown their appreciation from WVU’s furry therapists.


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So if you’re feeling stressed these coming weeks, go ahead and find a pup. There are always events for finals week featuring the dogs. For information, keep an eye on announcements around campus and WVU Today.

If you do feel you are struggling to cope with stress, please contact the Carruth Center at (304) 293-4431. 

Sexual Assault on Campus Podcast

Last week, Aishina posted on sexual harassment and assault awareness. An American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, with over 300,000 rape and sexual assault cases occurring every year in the United States,

During West Virginia University’s Campus Climate survey, around half of students reported feeling that they’ve been assaulted on campus. In this podcast, Madalyn, Mia, and I talk about our experience with fear of assault on campus, if the culture at WVU does or does not effect this, and more…

If you feel that you have been assaulted or are uncomfortable about a situation, please contact the Title IV office. Here is a link to a prezi about your options:


April 20th, 2017. 4/20. “National Weed Day”.

April 20th, 2017. 4/20. National Weed Day.

4/20 is a widely known day cherished by pot smokers around the world as a reason to “toke up with friends and massive crowds each year”.

This interesting article posted by TIME dives into the real reason why 4/20 is associated with weed. Although we are all relatively familiar with the day and its meaning, we aren’t fully aware of what it can do to your body if you choose to take part in the activity. The effects of cannabis for men and women can be just this :


  • Higher rates of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in their bloodstream.
  • Less likely to be cannabis only consumers
  • Higher prevalence of reported panic disorders and personality disorders


  • Experience more dizziness
  • Tend to use cannabis when feeling anxious
  • Potential to experience weaker effects due to a difference in body weight distribution

Having some background information on the topic, I was able to interview someone I know who takes part in this activity.


How long have you been smoking weed for?

For about three years.

Do you participate in 4/20?

I don’t individually participate in 4/20, but I have celebrated 4/20 after being invited to do so in a social setting.

Do you feel like smoking weed has effected your body in any way? If so how?


Do you think you’ll ever stop smoking it or no?

I haven’t smoked for the past few months, but I hold nothing against the use of marijuana nor was my decision to stop smoking for any particular reason. My decision to stop smoking was very passive.

With the new law passed that smoking weed is now legal in California, does that affect your buying habits in any way?

Yes and no. Before the law passed, I didn’t buy marijuana very frequently. Now that it is legal I don’t think my habits will change, only that if I did need to purchase some that it would be more convenient to go to a shop rather than look for alternative means.

If so, Are you smoking more now that previously before?


No matter if you take part in the 4/20 festivities or randomly smoke throughout the year, everyone has a different way of doing so and each persons take on the subject is different.