The Highs And Lows Of Marijuana Use

Is Legalizing Marijuana Playing With Fire?

When marijuana is available legally for patients with medical conditions there can be a number of benefits if certain conditions apply: If the pharmaceutical drug options to treat the patients symptoms carry more risks than marijuana; if the marijuana offers more therapeutic benefits than the pharmaceutical drugs and if the profits from marijuana sales are channeled into constructive enterprises that will benefit society as a whole.

However, legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a whole different concept and one that has many people worried. The parties that are lobbying to legalize marijuana claim that legalization will supposedly take the manufacture and sale of marijuana out of the hands of drug addicts, drug cartels and other clandestine factions and into the domain of regulated manufacturers and retailers. Obviously, this will allow the taxes from sales to be directed into the public health and education systems, which would be far better than the current situation where only drug dealers benefit financially.

But there are several downsides to legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. One of the main issues is that legalization sends out a message to impressionable adolescents that marijuana is perfectly acceptable. The other issue is that it will become far easier for minors to purchase marijuana even though it will probably only be available to those over 21 yo. Just like alcohol, teens can always find older siblings or friends to buy cannabis for them but having said that, it's already fairly easy for young people to purchase marijuana, whether it's legally acquired or not.

So What's Wrong With Marijuana?

Besides the statistics indicating that marijuana is a gateway drug for heavier drugs, marijuana itself can be very damaging to both physical and mental health. Physically it causes fatigue and increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly lung cancer (if it's smoked) and cancer of the lymphatic system as well as oral tumors and other forms of cancer. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana is far more carcinogenic than nicotine and most people are well aware of the cancer risk from smoking cigarettes. Neurologically, marijuana is a well-known trigger for mental illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia and the damage it can cause to a developing brain can be catastrophic.

In normal brain development, significant changes occur in brain structure and function during the adolescent years and healthy brain function and growth needs to be supported through a healthy diet, adequate sleep and other favorable lifestyle factors. So consider the outcome if the developing brain does not receive the ideal requirements for normal growth and instead is exposed to neurologically-toxic substances such as marijuana (or other drugs).

Research carried out at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US showed that adolescents who use cannabis regularly have abnormal changes to their brain structure and the youngger the person is when they begin using marijuana, the greater the brain abnormality. Some of the brain damage that has been identified includes changes to …

Konica Minolta Healthcare Announces the Installation of a Clean Energy Solar System at its Wayne, NJ Headquarters

Konica Minolta Healthcare Solar System

Konica Minolta Healthcare has installed a solar system that will generate an estimated 541,645 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, equivalent to matching nearly 90% of the facility’s onsite electricity usage.
Konica Minolta Healthcare has installed a solar system that will generate an estimated 541,645 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, equivalent to matching nearly 90% of the facility’s onsite electricity usage.
Konica Minolta Healthcare has installed a solar system that will generate an estimated 541,645 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, equivalent to matching nearly 90% of the facility’s onsite electricity usage.

WAYNE, N.J., Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc., a leading medical imaging and information technology company, and EnterSolar, a commercial solar developer, announce the completion of a 461-kilowatt rooftop solar installation at Konica Minolta Healthcare’s headquarters in Wayne, NJ. The solar system will generate an estimated 541,645 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, equivalent to matching nearly 90% of the facility’s onsite electricity usage. 

Konica Minolta Healthcare is a division of Konica Minolta, Inc., a member company of RE100 that is committed to procuring 100% of its power from renewable sources by 2050, with a more immediate goal of 30% by 2030. The company has a comprehensive sustainability strategy that includes innovating green products and making its global operations more environmentally friendly. This solar project is Konica Minolta Healthcare’s latest step towards sustainability. The system is expected to generate renewable energy with environmental benefits equivalent to planting more than 9,100 trees or saving approximately 40,000 gallons of gas annually according to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

“Environmental sustainability and social responsibility are core tenants of our corporate philosophy,” says David Widmann, President and CEO of Konica Minolta Healthcare. “Globally, Konica Minolta’s commitment to renewable energy includes achieving a carbon minus status by 2030. The investment in a rooftop solar system at our US headquarters is one more step toward our goal to source 100 percent renewable energy for all global operations and our commitment to making a difference in the well-being of our planet and our population.”

“We are proud to have partnered with Konica Minolta Healthcare on this noteworthy solar project at their headquarters. We hope to see other companies follow their lead to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work towards a more sustainable future,” adds Peyton Boswell, Managing Director at EnterSolar. 

About Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc.
Konica Minolta Healthcare is a world-class provider and market leader in medical diagnostic imaging and healthcare information technology. With over 75 years of endless innovation, Konica Minolta is globally recognized as a leader providing cutting-edge technologies and comprehensive support aimed at providing real solutions to meet customer’s needs and helping make better decisions sooner. Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc., headquartered in Wayne, NJ, is a unit of Konica Minolta, Inc. (TSE:4902). For more information on Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc., please visit

About EnterSolar
EnterSolar is a leading national developer of solar photovoltaic and solar-plus-storage solutions to the commercial marketplace. The Company’s financing, engineering and project management teams work with each client to deliver a customized solar solution that provides a compelling return on investment. Expert

From hurricanes to earthquakes, space station experiment overcomes challenges

From hurricanes to earthquakes, space station experiment overcomes challenges
Camila Morales-Navas conducts final preparations on the Electrochemical Ammonia Removal system prior to parabolic flight testing. Credit: University of Puerto Rico

Space is hard, the saying goes, and conducting science in space presents challenges of its own. Few researchers have had to overcome hurricanes and earthquakes, though, just two of the hurdles a team of chemists in Puerto Rico faced getting their investigation to the International Space Station.

The investigation, Elucidating the Ammonia Electrochemical Oxidation Mechanism via Electrochemical Techniques at the ISS (Ammonia Electrooxidation) examines ammonia oxidation in microgravity.

Ammonia is a small molecule made up of nitrogen and hydrogen. Oxidation is a reaction involving oxygen that breaks up these molecules, producing nitrogen gas, water, and electrical energy. A compound in human urine, urea, can be converted to ammonia, making it an easily available resource. The oxidation process then can be used to produce water and energy, both critical needs on future long-term space missions, as are ways to remove ammonia from a spacecraft or habitat.

The team previously developed the Electrochemical Ammonia Removal system, or EAR, a setup similar to a battery that oxidizes ammonia electrochemically or with an electric current. They put EAR to the test on multiple parabolic flights, which provide scientists access to short-term microgravity by putting a plane into freefall. Results showed that microgravity decreased fuel cell performance 20 to 65 percent. The researchers suspected that the absence of buoyancy in microgravity caused the decrease, but needed to conduct more research to confirm that hypothesis.

“You only have about 25 seconds on parabolic flights,” says principal investigator Carlos Cabrera, chemistry professor at University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras in San Juan. “So we wanted to use the space station to look at the process for a longer period of time.”

The Ammonia Electrooxidation investigation proposal received approval from NASA in 2016 under the sponsorship of the ISS National Lab. The team first had to redesign their original flight equipment, shrinking the EAR from the size of a small refrigerator to something closer to a shoebox.

That task fell to Camila Morales-Navas, a chemistry Ph.D. student at the university who had worked on the parabolic flight tests.

Then Hurricane Maria swept across Dominica, St Croix, and Puerto Rico in September 2017. Losses totaled more than $91 billion, mostly in Puerto Rico, where nearly 3,000 people died. The category 5 storm also left the island’s entire population without electricity. Five months later, a quarter of residents still lacked power.

“We had no power on campus until January 2018,” says Morales-Navas. “We can figure things out on paper, but needed power to test configurations for the smaller equipment. Fortunately, we had a power generator in our lab at the Molecular Sciences Research Center, so we kept going.”

More obstacles were yet to come. In late 2019 and early 2020, Puerto Rico experienced a series of earthquakes that once again took out the power, and the university closed until building inspections were completed. In March of this year,

College Football Picks: UGA vs. ‘Bama and BYU’s tough test

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Najee Harris (22) during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Alabama won 63-48.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Najee Harris (22) during the second half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Alabama won 63-48.


The Southeastern Conference has the game of the week. The American Athletic Conference might have the most interesting set of games.

The marquee event of the college football weekend is No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama in a game that could very well be first of three meetings between the SEC superpowers. A conference title rematch in Atlanta would surprise no one and another meeting in the College Football Playoff would hardly be shocking.

The big uptick in offense in the SEC has made headlines during the first few weeks of the season, and no team is doing it better than Alabama. The Crimson Tide are averaging a gaudy 8.7 yards per play behind quarterback Mac Jones.

Georgia is one of the last remaining SEC teams that sort of looks like an old-school SEC team. Led by linebacker Monty Rice, the Bulldogs’ defense is tops in the nation, allowing 3.7 yards per play.

If Georgia can’t figure out a way to slow down Alabama, there probably isn’t one.

The undercard this week is lacking another matchup of ranked teams, but the AAC has some intrigue, starting Friday night with a nonconference game at Houston.

The Cougars finally opened their season last week. They were sloppy but still ran away from Tulane. Now No. 14 BYU comes to town. Those Cougars, led by quarterback Zach Wilson, rolled through their first three games before facing some four-quarter competition last week for the first time against UTSA.

It’s a good opportunity for both BYU and the American to raise their credibility in a year where the Power Five conferences are mostly playing among themselves.

As for Tulane, it doesn’t get any easier for the Green Wave this week with No. 17 SMU coming to New Orleans on Friday night.

On Saturday, No. 8 Cincinnati goes to Tulsa, where the Golden Hurricane are looking to spring another upset after beating UCF.

Maybe the most entertaining game of the day outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be played at Memphis. The Tigers and UCF have won the last three AAC titles and played some wildly entertaining games over the past few years. But both are coming off losses and another L this early would be tough to overcome in the conference race.

While neither team is ranked this week, it wouldn’t be surprising to see either or both eventually work their way back into the Top 25.

Note: LSU (plus 11 1/2) at No. 10 Florida is not included because the Gators are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak and it’s unclear whether the game will be played.

The picks:


No. 17 SMU (minus 6) at Tulane

Green Wave have played some odd games this year, blowing big leads and making big comebacks. If nothing

Volcanic eruptions may explain Denmark’s giant mystery crystals

Volcanic eruptions may explain Denmark's giant mystery crystals
Photo of the Danish Island Fur and it’s sediment layers. Credit: Nicolas Thibault

Some of the world’s largest specimens of rare calcium carbonate crystals, known as glendonites, are found in Denmark.

The crystals were formed between 56 and 54 million years ago, during a period that is known to have had some of the highest temperatures in Earth’s geologic history. Their presence has long stirred wonder among researchers the world over.

“Why we find glendonites from a hot period, when temperatures averaged above 35 degrees, has long been a mystery. It shouldn’t be possible,” explains Nicolas Thibault, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management.

This is because glendonites are composed of ikaite, a mineral that is only stable, and can therefore only crystallize, at temperatures of less than four degrees Celsius.

Volcanoes responsible for cold intervals

In their new study, Nicolas Thibault, along with department colleagues Madeleine Vickers, Christian Bjerrum and Christoph Korte, performed chemical analyses of the Danish glendonites.

Their work reveals that the early Eocene Epoch, between 56 and 48 million years ago, was not at all as uniformly warm as once thought.

“Our study proves that there must have been periods of cold during the Eocene Epoch. Otherwise, these crystals couldn’t exist—they would have simply melted. We also propose a suggestion for how this cooling might have happened, and in doing so, potentially solve the mystery of how glendonites in Denmark and the rest of the world came to be,” says Nicolas Thibault. He adds:

“There were probably a large number of volcanic eruptions in Greenland, Iceland and Ireland during this period. These released sulphuric acid droplets into the stratosphere, which could have remained there for years, shading the planet from the sun and reflecting sunlight away. This helps to explain how regionally cold areas were possible, which is what affected the climate in early Eocene Denmark.”

Layers of volcanic ash in rock

The presence of volcanic activity is revealed by, among other things, sedimentary layers visible on Fur, where layers of volcanic ash are clearly visible as bands in the coastal bluffs.

“Our study helps solve a mystery about glendonites, as well as demonstrating that cooler episodes are possible during otherwise warmer climates. The same can be said for today, as we wise up to the possibility of abrupt climate change,” concludes Nicolas Thibault.

Throwing a warm sheet over our understanding of ice and climate

More information:
Madeleine L. Vickers et al, Cold spells in the Nordic Seas during the early Eocene Greenhouse, Nature Communications (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18558-7
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UNE to move its College of Osteopathic Medicine to Portland

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Funding from the Harold Alfond Foundation will help the University of New England move the College of Osteopathic Medicine from the main campus in Biddeford to a 100,000-square-foot building in Portland, the university announced Tuesday.

The $30 million grant also will be used to accelerate high-growth undergraduate and graduate programs to meet student demand and workforce needs in areas like aquaculture, entrepreneurship, criminal justice and sports media communication, among others, officials said.

The move of the College of Osteopathic Medicine will put it on the Portland campus along with other health-related programs like dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, dental hygiene and nurse anesthesia.

“With a truly integrated health care campus, like none other in our region, our health professions students will capitalize on opportunities for cross-professional learning, enhance their team-based competencies, and will benefit from amazing new learning spaces that will complement UNE’s existing assets,” UNE President James Herbert said.

The university hopes to break ground on the new building in the spring 2022 and looks to the fall 2023 as a targeted completion date, officials said.

The grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation is part of a $500 million commitment over 12 years to provide an economic boost to the state.

“We believe that two fundamental components of a bright future for Maine are a high-quality education and a healthy population, and UNE is a significant contributor toward both of these goals,” said Greg Powell, chairman of the foundation.

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The NPR Student Podcast Challenge: College Edition : NPR


We’re inviting college students around the country to create a podcast — about anything you want! — and compete for a chance to have your work appear on NPR.

Be a part of the NPR Student Podcast Challenge: College Edition

"how it works" LA Johnson/NPR

Here’s how it works: Put together a podcast with your friends, your club, or by yourself and submit it to us.

This contest is for students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. There is no age restriction! Each podcast should be between three and eight minutes long.

The winning podcast submissions will be featured in segments on NPR’s Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

"where to begin" LA Johnson/NPR

We don’t expect you to be experts. In fact, we assume that most of you are putting a podcast together for the very first time. Don’t panic!

Visit our submission guide to find suggested prompts, guidelines for submissions, and a list of questions you might have.

But before you do anything, it’s important to read the official rules here.

Sure, this is a competition, but it’s also about telling stories in a fun way. We want to make that process easier — so we’ve put together materials to help you along the way.

We’ll have more content coming out soon for college students! But for now you can find our materials for the main Student Podcast Challenge (for students in grades 5-12) and our podcast about how to make a podcast.

"the judges" LA Johnson/NPR

Questions? Read through our frequently asked questions here. If you’re still looking for an answer, send us an email at

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Oakland University Honors College enrollment surpasses 2,000 students

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

ROCHESTER, Mich., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in its history, Oakland University’s Honors College has a total enrollment of more than 2,000 students.

“Very few universities can trace their history back to the history of Honors Colleges across the nation,” said Graeme Harper, dean of OU’s Honors College. “Oakland is distinctive in that way, and all students who come to Oakland have a connection to the pursuit of aspirational goals and ambitions. That this year we reach a milestone with 2,036 students in our Honors College is so exciting, and it represents the quality of this university that we love.”

The Honors College enrolls students who wish to pursue academic excellence, growth opportunities and leadership. Students automatically qualify to join The Honors College if they possess a minimum GPA of 3.7 and a SAT of at least 1,200 or an ACT of at least 25. Students who have a GPA of at least 3.3 and an SAT of at least 1,000 or an ACT of at least 19 are eligible to apply to join The Honors College and their applications are considered on merit.

This year’s incoming Honors College class of 655 students is academically diverse, with more than 50 different majors and concentrations. They are widely distributed throughout the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and various schools.

  • College of Arts and Sciences – 204
  • School of Engineering and Computer Science – 121
  • School of Nursing – 51
  • School of Heath Sciences – 48
  • School of Business Administration – 33
  • School of Music Theatre and Dance – 26
  • School of Education and Human Services – 21
  • Pre-Med Concentration – 149
  • Undecided – 50

Over the past year, The Honors College saw a 59 percent jump in applications and a 15 percent increase in attendance at information sessions, key trends that have fueled the college’s record-breaking total enrollment.

“There is no better student than an Oakland University student,” Dean Harper declared. “We are the first choice of some of the highest-achieving students across this state of Michigan and well beyond too. A vibrant, growing Honors College tells a wonderful story. It is the story of OU’s success and of all the students who join the OU community.”

Learn more about Oakland University’s Honors College, by visiting

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SOURCE Oakland University

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Trump says he wants to plant a trillion trees, while opening up millio

In late September, the Trump administration finalized a plan to allow logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest—the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. A little more than two weeks later, on October 13, he issued an executive order calling for a new council to “implement a strategy” for the Trillion Trees Initiative, a global effort to grow and conserve a trillion trees within the next decade.

But while the plans to open up the Tongass are moving forward quickly, with timber sales possible later in the year, the new executive order lacks any concrete detail. “It looks an awful lot like they’re making a plan to make a plan,” says Ryan Richards, senior policy analyst for public lands at the Center for American Progress. “Whereas, at the same time, you’re seeing oil and gas leases going out the door at bargain-basement prices, and a firm plan to remove roadless protections from millions of acres of old-growth forest in the Tongass.” The Trump administration has opened up more than 24 million acres of federal land to drilling in total in the last four years.

Trump said in January that the U.S. would be part of the Trillion Tree Initiative, now known as The executive order creates a council to work on the project, but offers little detail and no actual goals. If implemented well, protecting forests and reforesting degraded land could play an important role in fighting climate change. But it’s only a piece of what needs to happen. “Any climate plan needs to include forests, but a serious climate plan needs to be thinking about all of the other emissions sources that we need to address to take climate action,” says Richards. The Trump administration weakened fuel economy standards, rolled back the Clean Power Plan, weakened emissions standards for the oil and gas industry, and withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. The new executive order doesn’t mention climate change, though climate change is the driving force behind (The executive order does acknowledge that “forests and woodlands sequester atmospheric carbon,” but doesn’t explain why that matters.)

Put in place three weeks before the election—and more than eight months after Trump said that the U.S. would participate—it’s unlikely that the new council will accomplish anything soon, even though others involved with are taking steps to move forward on separate projects. With the lack of a plan, it also may be unlikely to sway voters. Nearly three-quarters of Americans now believe that climate change is happening, and a record number are alarmed by it. Two-thirds think that the federal government is doing too little to address it. Broadly, the concept of planting a trillion trees is wildly popular, according to a Pew survey, with roughly 90% support. But there’s no evidence that anything like that is actually underway. The nonprofit World Resources Institute has estimated that it’s possible to plant 60 billion new trees in the next two decades; it would cost from $4-4.5 billion a year.