Neil T. Westcott

Blog 10: The taboo of marijuana use is slowly fading away

Newsy- Marijuana could one day be used to treat NFL players pain

Since the beginnings of its prohibition in the 1920s, Marijuana has been considered to be a dangerous and harmful drug. People have looked down upon marijuana users, considering the use of the plant to be equated with the use of crack cocaine or heroin. But the way the general public views marijuana is starting to change. As of 2017, 28 states and Washington D.C. will approve of medical marijuana use, and seven of those states allow recreational use of the plant. People are starting to realize that cannabis is a viable medicine, and that it should be viewed less as a drug and more as a medication. In the United States the abuse of prescription painkillers is killing thousands of people a year, and it’s starting to be viewed as a public health crisis. Recently there have been several large businesses–such as the National Football League Players Association–that are reconsidering the way they think about cannabis.

Dispatch: Ohio State University attack.

A student at Ohio State University intentionally drove his car onto a crowded sidewalk on the Columbus campus, striking students, then proceeded to get out and stab multiple people with a butcher knife at around 9:52 A.M. this morning. The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was shot and killed by an OSU police officer shortly after the attack.

Eleven people were taken to local hospitals, all of which being treated for stab wounds or injuries resulting from being struck by the suspects car. There have been no reports on the status of the victims, but more information will be released in the coming days.

OSU Emergency Management was the first to notify students of the attack, tweeting “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”

Classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day at the Columbus campus, but will resume a regular schedule on Tuesday, November 29th.



Dispatch: Tom Morello defends Fidel Castro in a social media tribute.


Tom Morello, right, performs along with Jackson Browne in 2013 for the MusiCares Person of the Year event honoring Bruce Springsteen.  (Photo: Lester Cohen/ Wireimage)

Rock guitarist and political activist Tom Morello took to Instagram on Saturday to give tribute to recently deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The social media post features a photo of Castro playing baseball, accompanied by a long caption. Morello spoke fondly of Castro in the wordy post, saying, ” While I don’t agree with all that Fidel Castro did there is ample reason why he is vilified in the US and yet remains a huge hero throughout the Third World.”

Morello is best known for his role as guitarist and songwriter in the anti-establishment band Rage Against The Machine, and it’s hard for me to understand why he would take to the internet to defend a man that is known to have killed thousands of innocent people. I understand that Morello is constantly trying to advocate for the poor and rebel against government convention, but this might be a little too far–even as a fanatic of his work as a musician.

Castro, who died Friday at age 90, turned Cuba into a one-party socialist state and ruled the nation under multiple titles for 47 years. Many regard Castro as the figurehead for modern day communism, and his death was met with jubilation from many Cuban exiles living in South Florida and across the US.


Dispatch: Standing Rock oil pipeline protesters aren’t going anywhere.

The U.S. Army Core of Engineers has issued a warning for protesters to leave their camp at the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline site by December 5th. The group of protesters in the Standing Rock Native American reservation have occupied the land to halt the construction efforts on the oil pipeline, claiming that the pipeline will threaten water sources and sacred burial grounds.

Protests began several months ago, after the company building the pipeline secured federal permits to build through the reservation lands. The number of demonstrators has steadily grown throughout recent weeks, and although there is no exact number, tribal officials claim the main encampment is “thousands strong.” The conflict has remained largely non-violent with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend, when local law enforcement reportedly used tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons on protesters in below-freezing temperatures.

Although the Army hasn’t specified any action on protesters remaining past December 5th, local law enforcement officials claim that they will make arrests for trespassing.


Dispatch: Buccaneers beat Seahawks, making a case for playoff aspirations.


Mike Evans (left) and Jameis Winston celebrate a touchdown on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The duo combined for two touchdowns as the Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 14-5.                               (Photo: Associated Press)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 14-5 on Sunday afternoon in Tampa. The Seahawks came into the match up as the favorite to win, as many experts have them rated among the best teams in the NFL, but the Buccaneers clearly didn’t get that memo.

The Bucs had struggles along the offensive line earlier in the season, and the injury of running back Doug Martin led to an imbalanced offense that struggled in late game situations in the first half of the season.

But times have changed– the o-line has cleaned up its act, giving quarterback Jameis Winston ample time to make big-time throws. Doug Martin is back, and he earned tough rushing yards that opened up the pass game for the Bucs offense. The Tampa Bay defense absolutely shined, sacking Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson 6 times and earning 3 turnovers.

The win against Seattle marks three in a row for Tampa Bay, which is their longest winning streak since the 2013 season. The Buccaneers are now 6-5, and they’re the top team in the hunt for the final wildcard spot in the NFC playoffs.

Dispatch: Seminoles are state champs, again.


Three Seminole star players celebrate the rivalry win with fans on Saturday night at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. Pictured left to right are Sophomore quarterback #12 Deondre Francois, Senior defensive end #44 Demarcus Walker, and Junior running back #4 Dalvin Cook.                     (Photo: Joe Robbins/ Getty Images)                                                         

The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Florida Gators by a score of 31-13 Saturday evening in Tallahassee, marking their final regular season game. The win against UF marks four straight years of the Seminoles beating all in-state football opponents, and this years senior class is the first in FSU football history to play all four years without a loss to the Gators or the Miami Hurricanes.

Senior defensive end Demarcus Walker capped off his final season at FSU with a monstrous performance, disrupting the Gator offense and earning two sacks. Star running back Dalvin Cook broke for 156 yards and a touchdown, in what most believe will be his last home game before declaring for next years NFL draft.

The Seminoles were playing inspired football on Saturday night, and they dedicated their performance to the memory of former FSU player and Assistant Athletic Director Monk Bonasorte, who passed away last week. The Noles wore “MB 42” stickers on their helmets to honor Bonasorte, bearing his initials and jersey number.

The Seminoles finish the regular season with a 9-3 record, and now they will wait to see what bowl game opponent they will have in January.


I just spent about an hour watching stories on this site, and I probably could’ve stayed on for another hour. The content is organized neatly, the production of the video is excellent, and news reports are succinct and to the point.

Newsy reminds me a lot of Vice News, in a couple of ways:

1.) All of the stories are very timely and seem to be posted at the peak of the public interest in the subject; for example there were several videos released the day after the election that outlined Trumps plans for office.

2.) There is minimal political spin on the subject from the anchors, but some of the subject matter makes it seem like a left-leaning outlet.

That being said, I really had a hard time finding something about Newsy that I didn’t like. I really enjoyed the organization and simplicity of the site, and I think that I’ll be using it in the future as a primary news source.

Dispatch: Hillary Clinton holds rally in Tampa.

Hillary Clinton held a rally today at Curtis Hixon Riverfront Park in downtown Tampa. Clinton’s rally, which doubled as her 69th birthday celebration, began at 2:45 p.m.

A very energetic Clinton spoke about all of her usual topics– her economic ideals, healthcare, and foreign policy, among other plans for her presidency. Clinton also spent some time attacking her opponent Donald Trump, citing his sketchy business background and apparent lack of psychological stability. Clinton condemned Trump for threatening to reject the results of the presidential election if he loses, saying that it “is contrary to who we are as Americans.”

The crowd for Clinton’s rally, estimated at 2,500 people, was very enthusiastic and receptive to the Democtatic presidential nominee–despite the fact that many had to wait in line for hours to attend the rally.

Both major presidential candidates have been campaigning hard in the Sunshine State for the past few months, as Florida’s 29 electoral college votes make it a must-win state on the path to the presidency. Today marks Clinton’s last stop in the Tampa Bay area before election day.


Dispatch: Transgender candidate for Utah Senator, Misty Snow.

Misty Snow is running a campaign for Senate in her home state of Utah. Snow is the first transgender person in the history of the United States to run for Senate under a major political party, winning the Democratic primary with 60 percent of the vote. Snow paid the campaign filing fee with her tax return refund, and overcame the odds to win the primary race against a candidate with far better funding.

Snow doesn’t want her campaign to be centered around her gender identity– she is pushing hard for policies like paid maternity leave, women’s right to choose, and equal access to healthcare. Her opponent Republican Mike Lee has a considerable advantage in campaign funding, but Snow remains hopeful that the people of Utah will choose her as their next Senator. If Snow does win, she will be the first woman from Utah to be elected to the Senate and the first transgender person to be a Senator in the history of the United States.

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