Pros and cons of medical marijuana

By: Mila Hart

This November, more then eight states in the U.S. overwhelmingly approved a marijuana legalization ballot item. Now that more and more states are legalizing medical marijuana, let’s talk about some background on the topic and the pros and cons of it.

First let’s review some background information on marijuana. Medical marijuana is also known as CBD and recreational marijuana is known as THC. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids found in marijuana but the difference between them is that THC will cause a person to experience a high while CBD will not.

CBD can provide relief for anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also said to help with sleep, chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, and vomiting, and to increase appetite. It is also safer than some other medications used to treat pain like opioids. You can use it in many ways, you do not have to smoke it. There are oils, edibles, and other non smoking ways to use CBD.

With so many pros it’s hard to think of how the cons would outweigh them, but there are some cons. marijuana can affect thinking and memory, increasing the risk of accidents. Smoking can also damage the lungs which could lead to cancer. There is also a risk for potential abuse and addiction.

I asked a few students at Highland Park Senior High, and they all agreed that legalizing medical marijuana was a good thing. One student specifically said that if it’s legal then the patients can decide for themselves if the pros outweigh the cons.

A teacher at Highland said that there are amazing medical benefits and that it’s a good thing more states are legalizing it.

So what do you think? Do the negatives outweigh the positives or should more states legalize medical marijuana?

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Effects of nicotine on the brain

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

Nicotine is an addictive substance that can alter your mind and actions. It can also cause permanent brain damage. According to Drug Watch, “Nicotine can disrupt the part of the brain that controls attention, learning, moods and impulse control. People under the age of 25 are also more susceptible to becoming addicted to nicotine before the brain fully develops.” 

With nicotine, there are both short and long term effects. 

The short term effects are a reduced sense of taste and smell, bad breath, a decrease in energy, withdrawals, and fatigue. 

The long term effects and risks are the addiction aspect of it; it can lead to mood disorders, respiratory issues, lower life expectancy, and it permanently lowers your impulse control.

There are also effects of second-hand smoking. It can affect the health and well-being of anyone that’s exposed to it. According to Quebec Advice and Prevention, “These people are at high risk of developing health issues such as: heart problems, respiratory or lung problems, such as asthma or excessive coughing, and lung cancer.” Second hand smoke is one of the most dangerous environments to be around. To learn more about “The Effects of Smoking and Second-Hand Smoke” visit the website below.

I asked a freshman, a junior, and a senior these questions about nicotine and vaping. Have you ever vaped, and why did or didn’t you do it? What do you know about the effects of nicotine on the brain? If given the opportunity, would you wanna learn more about the effects of nicotine?

The freshman responded to the first question saying, “I have not vaped because I know it’s bad for me and I am not stupid.”

The second question they responded saying, “Doesn’t it have withdrawal-like symptoms? It also disrupts your attention span I have heard. Maybe you really want something and that could affect your brain the same way when you want nicotine.”

The third question they responded with, “Yes.”

The junior responded to the first question saying, “I have vaped before and I did it because I thought it would help my mental illness. But it ended up with me being addicted.”

The second question they responded saying, “I’ve first hand experience with withdrawal symptoms and let me tell you… it is not fun.”

The third question they responded with, “Yes, I would be open to learning more about how it was affecting my brain.”

The senior responded to the first question saying, “Yes, I have due to curiosity and peer pressure.”

The second question they responded saying, “Little to none.”

The third question they responded saying, “Oh for sure.”

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Art vs. Artist

By: Parker Rowen

Image taken from: Shepherd, Jack. “Artist Paints Himself Painting Himself Painting Himself Painting Himself.” Medium, Sharks and Spades, 5 Aug. 2020,

“Should art be separated from it’s artist?” is a questions that has come up in recent times. This has begun to re-emerge, with Hollywood being shown to have more and more morally questionable people to be within the industry than was once known, or believed. This is an important question to answer, it brings in a question of morality, and whether it is moral to consume art made by an artist who has committed something heinous.

When researching for a paper, or some kind of formal piece, you always question the source of the information, whether it’s reliable, if it is to be trusted, or provides something which before was unseen. Art should be viewed in the same manner. When you see a piece of art, it is paramount that the artist and their intentions get discussed.

If you look at the works of someone such as Vincent Van Gough, you’ll see how it paints a picture of Van Gough’s life, and view of the world. Without this art as context, we wouldn’t have nearly as much of a view into the world of Van Gough.

Good art is often reflective of it’s artist. It is hard to put passion into something without that thing becoming part of you, and vice versa. Art is meant to be passionate, so naturally it would show the person you are to the world. 

To separate the art from the artist would be akin to stealing the sun from the sky. The artist defines their work, and sets up their themes, they are the ones to decide what their art should mean. It often reflects an opinion, or sends a message in which the artist believes in. While this opinion may not necessarily be harmful, it should be a truthful one, and help paint a picture of what the artist is like, and whether it is someone to look up to.

In capitalism, the phrase “speak with your wallet” is a common, and very true one. People have a monetary value attached to everything, and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve success in that regard. So, by this logic, when you buy something you are supporting it. Generally, art has been sold at a price, helping to support the artist living, and to encourage more of that type of art. When you buy a piece of art, you are supporting the artist, and encouraging them to continue behaving the way in which they are.

A piece of art is crucial in learning about an artist, therefore, the artist must be crucial to understanding the art. To separate the art from the artist opens a blank space in the context, and message of the art. With this assessment in mind, I feel that to consume art, such as buying a painting, or CD, made by someone who has committed a reprehensible act is immoral and something to be avoided, because supporting that art also supports the negative behavior in which they have practiced.

‘Dune’ Movie Review

By: Eva Olsen

This movie is set somewhere very far into the future in space. It follows the story of a boy named Paul Atreides, who has to go to a very dangerous planet to guarantee the future of his people and family. A war erupts over spice, the most precious substance in the universe, which is only found on this dangerous planet called Arrakis.

I thought the plot of this movie was very interesting but also kind of confusing. The most confusing part for me was remembering all of the names for the different planets, characters, languages, and objects. All of the advanced and futuristic technology was also really cool to see.

A lot of conflict was shown throughout this movie and most of it was revolving around politics. There were a lot of fighting scenes but they weren’t too bloody

I loved the characters and how they all had such different personalities from one another. It created a lot of suspense not knowing what characters were loyal to Paul and which ones weren’t. There were a lot of sad scenes where characters I liked died or sacrificed themselves. There were also a lot of plot twists in the movie, most of them revolving around betrayal.

The casting of this movie was good in my opinion and I recognized a lot of the actors in it. I thought the acting in it was very good. All of the costumes were very cool and I loved the attention to detail. The special effects were also very captivating and looked very realistic.

Overall, this movie was really good even though it was a little bit confusing at times. I recommend this movie if you like suspenseful action/adventure and science fiction movies. I give this movie a 9/10 rating.

If you were interested in seeing ‘Dune’, it is available in theaters, and online at HBO Max.