Temple Should Not Go Tobacco-Free

Temple's Tobacco-Free Policy: Not Necessary Or Bright

This non-smoker has some choice words for the tobacco ban.

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Temple's tobacco-free campus policy was just revealed, and as a non-smoker with asthma, my first instinct was to be glad.

However, upon reflection, it becomes obvious how disastrous, counterproductive, and yes, even elitist, this plan is.

The obvious problem with having a "tobacco-free" campus is that we also have an "alcohol-free" campus and a "marijuana-free" campus. Do you see where I'm going with this?

The other obvious logistical problem everybody is seeming to ignore is that Temple is smack in the middle of North Philadelphia: which is an urban campus with local residents constantly on Broad Street and obviously, these rules do not apply to them.

So, given the fact that there will already be a high number of people with the rules not applying to them, why does Temple think it can enforce this?

Speaking of enforcing the rule, how exactly does Temple plan to enforce this? Will the Temple police be riding around looking to confiscate various cigarettes and vapes? Do I really need to explain to all of you why this is a terrible idea?

Is this the type of environment we want to promote? I do not think anybody has a "right" to smoke, but giving some sort of authority to yank things out of people's mouths? I do not think it would not be radical to think of the slippery slope this could lead to. We are a public university with our own police force.

Not only that, but should we really be taking Juuls away? Now I personally think Juuls are the teenager version of a pacifier, but despite that, some people that use a Juul are doing so to quit their addiction to cigarettes. We should not be in the market of interfering with a person's attempt to quit.

This is doubly ridiculous when you consider all of the alternatives, too.

Temple has a policy where one is forbidden from smoking 25 feet from a building. Why not just enforce that? Or stop selling nicotine products at the 7/11?

And how can we claim that tobacco is the immediate problem when there is a bar right on Liacouras Walk?

This entire policy is the result of a bunch of annoying liberal children wanting to feel like activists and enshrine themselves in a veil of moral superiority. The "Task Force" is just some liberal elitist students that want to show off how woke they are and ruin everybody else's fun so they took this cause because it seemed easy.

You can see this by how I just poked all of those holes in their platform.

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An Open Letter To The Parent That Chose Drugs Over Me

You should know this.
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There used to be a time when you made me feel loved and wanted.

I couldn't wait to come home after school knowing that you'd be waiting for me along with all of my favorite snacks, ready to give me a big hug and ask me how my day went. I used to sit in your lap while you helped me read my chapter books. You used to show up to things.

You used to get to know my friends. You used to encourage me. But you're not that person anymore. I watched as your addiction consumed you and turned you into a monster. Your loving words turned into hateful actions. I watched as you became angry at the world until your substances were the only thing that mattered anymore. Nothing was good enough for you, and nothing could save you... not even me.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

It took me a long time to realize what was even going on. I was old enough to know that drugs were bad, but still young enough that I had no idea what they looked like or how a person may act while taking them. I didn't know that when you locked yourself in your room with strangers you were getting high, or that it wasn't normal for people to sleep for twenty hours at a time.

I used to think that maybe if I had asked other adults more questions I would have figured it out sooner and you could have gotten help. I used to think that if maybe my sister and I didn't fight as much, or if I didn't complain every time you told me to do something, that maybe you wouldn't have been so stressed out all the time. But the truth is, it wasn't my fault. It wasn't my sister's fault.

This was all on you.

I didn't ask for a parent that was forced to enroll in various rehab programs, but that's what I got. I didn't ask for the letters you sent while you were in and out of jail, but I still read them all. I didn't want to explain to my friends' parents why your name was always in the paper, but I did it regardless.

All I ever actually wanted was for you to pick me for once in your life, but you couldn't do that.

When the going got tough, you just cowered away, too scared to confront your own demons. You had everyone else to blame, but you never took a second to think about what you were doing to us, no matter how much I begged and pleaded.

You ripped our family apart. You fucked me up.

What is a child to do when the one person in the whole world that is supposed to teach them love and affection hits them, tells them they're worthless, and leaves them to fend for themselves?

SEE ALSO: To The Children Growing Up Around Addiction

I promised myself several years ago that I would never become you. I would never let any kind of substance consume my life. I wouldn't lie, steal, and manipulate to get my way. I wouldn't become a “parent" to my children only when it's convenient for me. I would make something of myself.

It makes my blood boil to see you take credit for how I turned out. “I'm so proud of my baby. Raising you is the greatest thing I've ever done." Complete bullshit. You were never around to raise me. Any ounce of success I've tasted hasn't come from you or your guidance. If anything, you've only been a living demonstration of everything I shouldn't be.

I got to where I am today with absolutely no help from you. You don't get to come into my life now that I'm an adult and take all the credit. You don't get to try to dictate what I can and can't do as if you have some kind of authority on my decisions. You had your chance to raise me and be a part of my life, but you blew it. I don't owe you a single thing.


Cover Image Credit: Jordi Bernabeu

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Denver's Decision To Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms Offers New Hope For Those Struggling With Mental Illness

If we want to really make progress in mental health treatment, we might have to start considering solutions that are a little bit unorthodox.

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Admittedly, magic mushrooms are not the first drug that comes to mind when you think of Denver, Colorado. However, this week the residents of Denver will vote on whether to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms as part of a movement nicknamed "Decriminalize Denver." The movement is the nation's first public referendum on hallucinogenic mushrooms. Initiative 301 aims to ratify the directive that enforcing laws for personal use or possession of psilocybin mushrooms "shall be the lowest law enforcement priority in the City and County of Denver."

While the motives behind decriminalization are undeniably varied, one major reason to support the legalization of magic mushrooms is the fact that they offer a lot of potential in long-term treatment of mental illness and addiction. According to a study led by Jeremy Daniel and Margaret Haberman at the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy in 2017, psilocybin mushrooms have high affinity for several serotonin receptors located in numerous areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex and thalamus.

Findings like these point to the fact that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, may be an effective treatment for addiction, depression, chronic pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The benefits are so convincing that the FDA has granted "breakthrough therapy" status to study psilocybin for treating depression due to the fact that preliminary evidence shows "the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy," meaning magic mushrooms might be closer to their namesake after all, bringing new hope for those who have exhausted other options and found them more harmful than helpful.

Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of "Decriminalize Denver," credits psilocybin mushrooms with "really saving [his] life" following his medical discharge from the United States Military Academy due to his major depression. Matthews says his "life had crumbled beneath [his] feet" and suffered without a solution for years until his friends introduced him to magic mushrooms. Since discovering their potential for treating his depression, he's dedicated his life to bringing others with severe mental illnesses the same opportunity.

A 2015 paper from the University of Alabama went so far as to find that "classic psychedelic use is associated with reduced psychological distress and suicidality in the United States adult population." Findings like these are imperative, especially in a time when suicide rates have risen 30% in the last decade.

If we want to really make progress in mental health treatment, we might have to start considering solutions that are a little bit unorthodox.

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