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  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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News Feature

ADHD Meds: The Good Grade Pill

ADHD medications won’t make you into a genius and could hurt you.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Besides alcohol and marijuana, a category of pharmaceuticals garnering considerable attention among college students on campuses nationwide is a class of drugs known as psychostimulants.

Drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, medications used to treat attention deficit hyper-activity disorder, a condition marked by an inability to pay attention, have become attractive to a wide swath of the student population. Psychostimulants are very different than other drugs abused by college students as users often don’t seek them out for a high. Adderall, in particular, is especially attractive because students think of it as an effective, cheap study aid.

“[ADHD medication] heightens your ability to pay attention to things which normally bore a person and allows you to focus for a longer amount of time,” says Adam Plotnik, a clinical psychologist based in Farmington Hills. “For someone who has ADHD or ADD, it really allows them to function like people who don’t have ADHD or ADD.”

In college, we hear many success stories with these drugs. But one question many non-ADHD students are asking is: Will this medication work for me? The answer is that it will, but with some side effects.

“I think there’s a myth out there that if you are a hyperactive or ADHD kid, Ritalin or Ritalin-like medications are going to work on you differently than they will on the normal population,” psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz said in an interview with the Internet forum Big Think. “For all of us, whenever we would take one of these medicines… you will be more focused, you will be more attentive, you also might be a little more uptight or hypervigilant.”

It might seem like Koplewicz implicitly endorses illicit drug use, but, like the other psychiatrists and psychologists, his role is to explain, not to justify. Koplewicz adds, “If you don’t have ADHD and you’re going to take [Ritalin], [or] any psychostimulant, any type of drug like this is going to increase your heartrate, it may elevate your blood pressure, it will decrease your appetite. Those things are side effects that are unnecessary if your dopamine and norepinephrine levels are normal.”

A good doctor will do a cost-benefit analysis weighing adverse effects against desired ones for patients, and will then prescribe them a calculated dosage. It follows then that there is significant danger for illicit users of ADHD medication. Without knowing their dosage, illicit users have a greater risk for overdose, and thus a greater chance of experiencing adverse side effects.

Yet, non-ADHD students continue to use and abuse these pharmaceuticals. John Taylor, a psychologist and coordinator of psychological testing and consultation services at Michigan State University’s Counseling Center, reported that MSU students were overwhelming campus medical doctors with requests for ADHD evaluations — most of which were non-ADHD drug seekers, Taylor suspected. At the doctors’ request, MSU opened a separate assessment center, where Taylor currently works.

Taylor considered the huge number of requests for ADHD evaluations, as well as the larger phenomenon of non-ADHD students seeking ADHD medication, and began to question their motivation.

“ADHD medications have become a silver bullet,” Taylor says of the sudents’ motivation for seeking psychostimulants. “Students are looking for something that will boost their mental powers, that will give them a competitive edge. Part of it is where society is at right now. It’s very competitive.”

Although he aims to explain the use rather than justify it, he says he sympathizes with modern college students’ tough conditions. “College students are really under the gun these days,” he says, citing national economic problems that will particularly affect college-age students, such as student loans and associated debts.

And college students agree. The University of Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, published an article headlined “Study Strong: how students on campus misuse stimulants,” which said today’s college students live in an “increasingly competitive college environment, where [they] are being pushed to achieve socially, academically and professionally.”

But students may also be giving psychostimulants too much credit. Given the currency of stories about students taking ADHD drugs and then studying for an organic chemistry exam for entire days, or writing an A-plus paper in only three hours, it’s important to  debunk a few misconceptions about what ADHD medication does.

Koplewicz points out that when people with ADHD use these drugs, “They are able to do what they’re capable of doing. It doesn’t increase your IQ points, it doesn’t make you smarter, it lets you get to the IQ points that you do have.”

But, as with any new phenomenon, the questions multiply. Is the use of ADHD similar to baseball players taking steroids? Is taking a performance-enhancing drug cheating? For now, these are personal questions. All these psychiatrists and psychologists can do is give recommendations. It is we who must ask ourselves: When is “good” good enough?

Zak Witus is entering his sophomore year at the University of Michigan and was an editorial intern at Metro Times this summer. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.

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