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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo Courtesy of Heather Maurer
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Backroom agreement will keep Marquette safe

The owner of Backroom Obsessions, Michael Jestila, reached an agreement last week to resolve all civil and criminal lawsuits against him with Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese by agreeing to permanently close Backroom Obsessions and to not operate any other business in Marquette County. This punishment is justified and will make Marquette County safer.

When substances are called “bath salts” and “spice” on the street, they don’t sound very dangerous. But these substances are not safe; they are downright destructive to the human body.

Synthetic marijuana, is sometimes used by collegiate athletes or people on parole to pass toxicology tests.

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This is because synthetic marijuana is made with synthetic cannabinoids, meaning that the slight change in chemical structure to the drug will cause it to not show up on drug tests.

Although it might be tempting to use synthetic marijuana to pass a drug test, the reward is not worth the possible risks. According to Adam Brickner, Executive Director of The Phoenix Center in Greenville County, S.C., using synthetic marijuana can cause anxiety attacks and convulsions. Even worse, synthetic marijuana can cause heart attacks and also death.

Three 16-year-old boys in Texas went to the hospital with chest pains after smoking “spice.” All three boys were diagnosed with heart attacks caused by synthetic marijuana, but luckily all recovered.

Some aren’t so lucky. An Anderson University basketball player, Lamar Jack, collapsed at practice last year and died four days later. His death was determined to be caused by using synthetic marijuana.

Pyrovalerone, also called “bath salts,” is even more dangerous than synthetic marijuana. According to, bath salts “can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions.”

The dangers of bath salts led to over 16 deaths in Ohio last year. One of these deaths was that of a 29-year-old man who snorted bath salts and subsequently hanged himself.

The agreement between Jestila and Wiese will stop these drugs from being sold in Marquette County, and thus keep them out of the hands of students and community members.

Just as important, this agreement will deter others from thinking about selling bath salts and synthetic marijuana in Marquette County in the future.

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