Future renovations of downtown Fort Wayne

By: Kayla Wisniewski

The Public Works Division will be replacing existing historical brick pavement from Hoagland to Webster on Butler Street. The City Council discussed the project on Oct. 22 at City Hall in Fort Wayne.

They will be constructing a new base setting, brick pavers, replacing castings, upgrading ADA ramps and repairing sidewalks within the next month.

The project will cost $1,000 a foot, which is almost $0.5 million for 560 feet. The committee explained that although it is an expensive project, it holds integrity for a historical value and will help the neighborhood property values rise.

Shan Gunawardena, the director of Public Works, explained how by improving the city of Fort Wayne, the living conditions for citizens will be accommodated for and more people will want to live there. “We want to serve the community here in Fort Wayne to a high standard where everyone feels that they live in a clean and safe environment,”Gunawardena said.

The division comprises of 11 department services which include street and traffic lighting, leaf collection, street sweeping, snow and ice control, recycling and the city’s transportation system. The Division of Public Works maintains and improves many different areas in Fort Wayne.

The Public Works Division website stated that Public Works supports the citizens of Fort Wayne as well as accommodates for the neighborhoods, businesses, and development projects.

Gunawardena said it’s important that Fort Wayne has a strong Public Works Division because the city is very large in population and has many businesses. Gunawardena explained the department really puts in the time on developing projects to fulfill what the city needs in terms of repair and stability.

Michelle Nelson, the board of Public Works manager, gave details on improvements by the Public Works Division in Fort Wayne. “Our department is always working on projects to help improve the city and continue to service the community,”Nelson said.

Some of the recent improvements were the reconstruction of the Edsall Avenue bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, and the widening of Dupont Road with new sidewalk, trail, street lighting and landscaping. Also, the realignment and widening of State Boulevard from Spy Run Avenue to Cass Street with a new bridge, sidewalk and trail. The department is continuing to propose new projects and starting many more.

“We are excited to start this project on the historical brick pavement because the roads will be in great conditions for drivers and pedestrians,”Nelson said. The start of many of the departments projects revolves around the convenience the finished product will have. Nelson said that she believes this project will have that effect and put Fort Wayne in a better state. “The Public Works department has put a lot of time and thought into this project,”Nelson explained.

A citizen of Fort Wayne, Alyssa Krause, expressed that the Public Works Division has improved her living in the city through the road work. The road leading into her apartment complex was rough with potholes and other issues. “This year they not only filled in potholes but completely redid the road and I can drive smoothly now,”Krause said.

Krause explained how the city should be working on the time length it takes to finish the roads. “I understand it’s a long process, but I feel like they start a lot of projects at one time rather than focusing on one at a time”Krause said. She believes by funding the department more, it will help improve the way of living in the city of Fort Wayne.

The project on Butler Street is set to be completed on April 17, 2020.

Three Rivers Visiting Dogs fosters love and reduces stigma

By: Lydia Braswell

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is at its close, but Three Rivers Visiting Dogs promote visibility all year round. The Fort Wayne-based organization has a goal to reduce the stigma with the help of trained dogs certified to make a difference in our community.

College students engaged in activities during Mental Health Week at Purdue University Fort Wayne to raise awareness and help prevent suicide – the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The center of attention was dedicated to floppy ears and wagging tails who welcomed love and attention from students as we took a break from dealing with the daily stresses of college life.

“It really helps the kids– coming here, petting the dogs,” said Bob Everest, founder of the nonprofit. “It lowers your blood pressure and changes things in your day that are going bad.”

Trained service dogs can detect oncoming anxiety and provide stress relief, according to Medical News Today. Three Rivers Visiting Dogs’ immersion into the Fort Wayne community gives the team members a chance to share their own stories and show that mental health issues don’t have to always be associated with negative memories.

Ginger is a Cavalier lap dog with a special talent for service to her owner. To some, she is a physical reminder that a person relies on her help to tackle their daily life. To others, she is a reminder that mental health issues don’t have to be kept secret.

Charlotte Coburn, Ginger’s owner, reminisced on how she bonded with her service dog. “We got her for our 50th wedding anniversary… and that was ten years ago,” Coburn said with a laugh.

Raising awareness is a primary way to reduce the stigma around mental health. PFW’s counseling center is a free, convenient resource for the general public that has not been heavily advertised. Dr. Joel Givenz, a counselor at the center, explained how the “disease model” impacts a person’s choice to either stay quiet about the issues they tackle or not tackle them at all.

“Depending on cultural norms, sometimes a person will believe that counseling is for ‘crazy people’ or ‘really sick people’, so sometimes counseling is associated with severe mental illness, and that’s kind of the disease model,” Dr. Givenz explained.

Sending positive messages about seeking professional help is necessary for turning over the stigma. Tim Hill, counselor-in-training at PFW’s center, said that one benefit of forming a connection with a client is creating an environment for change.

“It’s no different than if they had a cold and they went to see their doctor,” said Hill, who juggles a full-time job and providing for his family with volunteering as a counselor. “It’s still just a part of who they are, and if they think they need to improve it… then we are here and willing to help.”

Three Rivers Visiting Dogs and local counselors are doing their part to foster a welcoming environment that reduces stigma. We as a community can get involved, too. Dr. Givenz said that the more that students are involved with awareness events, the more the stigma is lowered, concerns are normalized, and people can talk about those concerns without embarrassment.

Sessions at the counseling center can be scheduled in Room 131 of the Dolnick Learning Center for Mondays 5-8 p.m, Tuesdays 12-2:30 p.m, Tuesdays 5-8 p.m, Wednesdays 5-8 p.m, and Thursdays 5-8 p.m. Call 260-481-5405 for more information.

Dr. Givenz and Everest both said that mental health professionals are transforming the way they think about treatment, and the presence of therapy dogs raises awareness for visibility. “We see the importance of touch,” said Dr. Givenz. “When it comes to an animal, it could be doing a lot of work for a person just to have something soothing nearby.”

Everest founded Three Rivers Visiting Dogs in 2000. He and his team of about 100 members go to suicide prevention events, health fairs, hospitals, and nursing homes throughout the year. The team’s many experiences led the founder to share stories that show the mental and physical impact dogs in his organization have on the public.

“We’ve had people in comas waking up petting a dog,” Everest said. “We can’t explain it… but they do a big thing.”

Everest said that he has been on several visits to people with Alzheimer’s who remember their time with the dog, and even the pet’s name, but not anything else. In another instance, the dog encouraged progression in a burn victim. Over the course of several visits, the patient went from only being able to pet the dog with one finger to embracing the animal with strength.

The team trains dogs in an immersive eight-week program to determine how they react and interact. A simple test such as bringing the dog in a hospital elevator can play a factor in whether they become certified therapy dogs or not.

Ginger passed the program with flying colors despite her own disability. “She’s completely deaf, but you would never know,” Everest said. “She loves what she’s doing.”

Three Rivers Visiting Dogs works with the National Alliance on Mental Illness by attending support groups for people with mental illness and their families every Tuesday night to reduce the stigma.

NAMI provides free crisis counseling by texting NAMI to 741-741. The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273 TALK (8255).

Editor’s note: A related version of this news article was featured on the Journal Gazette’s Nov. 12 edition.

Opposing voices working together

By: Brandon Blumenherst

An unlikely duo hosted a voter registration drive last week to give students the opportunity to participate in the electoral process.

Fort Wayne College Democrats and the College Republicans of Fort Wayne teamed up to develop a bipartisan voter registration initiative which would register voters and have them opt-in to a notification service to send them voting reminders. This effort was focused on getting students registered to vote for the upcoming municipal election.

Sydney Bynum, vice president of Fort Wayne College Democrats, said that the purpose of the event was to educate voters and encourage political engagement on campus.

“We wanted to make sure that we give students the opportunity to vote,” Sydney said, “but we also wanted to encourage them to actually exercise that right.”

It was a two-hour event in student housing on Oct. 7, the last day to register to vote for the 2019 election. Around 25 students checked their voter registration status, changed addresses, or registered for the first time. Students had the opportunity to register to vote based on their address in student housing or their home address.

“I figured it would be easier to move my registration address here since I will be here on Election Day,” said one student from Lake County. The students running the event also answered questions about voting and registering to vote.

With a voting site on campus and an early voting site across the street, students at Purdue Fort Wayne have a few different paths to take forward.

However, some unexpected delays stalled the initiative. After initially developing the plan which included canvassing—walking around campus—to increase the amount of potential voter registrations, both groups received notice that activity was not allowed due to the solicitation policy on campus. The administration then suggested ideas on how to create the effect of canvassing rather than working with the initial strategy suggested by the two student organizations.

“We were disappointed by the initial response to our joint effort,” said Rachel Delaney, vice president of the College Republicans of Fort Wayne. “We want to increase political engagement on campus and this was our first effort to work together to do that.”

The administration said that canvassing violated the passive solicitation policy on campus. However, canvassing on political and religious grounds is protected by a Supreme Court decision Watchtower Society v. Village of Stratton. The student organizations cited this decision and instances on campus with off-campus entities, like evangelical and anti-abortion groups, that would be in violation of the same solicitation policy. Despite citing this reasoning, the student organizations still met with the administration to determine their intentions and discuss the implications of this initiative.

After clarifying the intent and mission of both groups, the students realized they would have to compromise on how things could work in the short term and discuss long term change later.

A representative from the Student Life and Leadership office explained that these two student organizations could have tables at university events last week, the week before the voter registration deadline for the local municipal election, in place of a canvassing effort on campus. The administration and student organizations both want to discuss more about increasing student voter participation in the future.

Both groups volunteered at two campus events throughout the week and then worked to develop the voter registration drive in student housing at Purdue Fort Wayne. They want to develop a multi-stakeholder committee on campus that focuses on increasing student voter registration and turnout.

This committee would be modeled after the Purdue Votes Coalition, an initiative created in 2018 by Mitch Daniels, a former Indiana governor and current Purdue University president, to increase political participation amongst college students. However, that committee structure has not made its way to Purdue’s regional campuses.

The decision regarding canvassing on campus is still being debated and it is expected to garner further conversation after an upcoming faculty senate meeting.

Cancel Culture

Anyone and anything can be cancelled in our pop culture crazed social media culture that we exist in today.

Urban Dictionary defines “canceled” as dismissing someone or rejecting an idea or individual. Keeping that in mind, cancel culture is the recent trend of canceling individuals, organizations or products when they do something that the public does not approve of.

“When you have celebrities who have done problematic or harmful things, you have to cancel them,” said Sylvia Rust, a Women’s Studies student at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Rust went on to explain that we have created a society that is more critical of others who’ve done problematic things. “It has helped our society and has been a beneficial piece of today’s pop culture.”

Comedian Kevin Hart is a very recent example of cancel culture in action.

“Kevin Hart was about to host one of the biggest nights in television when he was deemed canceled. Nothing can stop cancel culture,” Rust said. After Hart was announced to as host of the Oscars last December, several of the comedian’s homophobic tweets resurfaced online. Twitter users began deeming Hart as canceled and he ended up backing out of the hosting gig.

Purdue Fort Wayne student and president of Campus Feminists of Solidarity, Jenn Reeve, explained that Black Twitter should be credited for cancel culture. Black Twitter, the active Black network of Twitter users, has been a large part of how Twitter has remained such a large platform.

“It really is a great thing that was born out of Black Twitter as a way to boycott problematic celebrities,” Reeve said. “Cancel culture and Black Twitter reaffirmed Twitter’s base, it would have failed without it.”

Secretary of Women’s Studies, Hayley King, was not familiar with the term cancel culture, but was familiar with the ability to call out celebrities or organizations that are in the wrong. “The #MeToo movement has given people power that they are not normally used to having,” King said. “It all highlights other parts of history that people aren’t used to hearing or sharing,” Reeve added.

The trend of canceling problematic people and organizations has created an even larger trend of transparency. With information being so readily available, more and more organizations are centering their advertising campaigns and social media platforms around creating a transparent and honest perception of themselves. If a company seems secretive, it will not be as easy for consumers to engage with and connect with them. If a company doesn’t own up to their mistakes, they may become canceled among consumers.

“If someone is doing something wrong, they will be held accountable now. We are more critical of others and are willing to try to put a stop to them,” Rust said.

Facebook went through a rather large privacy scandal this past year and has been working to increase transparency with its users to avoid any further issues. They publish “transparency reports” rather frequently, but it still has been difficult for the company to fully gain back the trust of the public. Even while publishing pieces about transparency, the company is still seen as rather secretive and as a big machine.

Becoming more aware and critical as a society plays a large part in the creation and growth of cancel culture. With so much information at our finger tips, it is easy to observe celebrities and large organizations. If someone or a company is in the wrong, it is hard for them to get away with it. When Facebook went through its privacy scandal, their stock fell more than 20%. They also experienced the slowest quarterly user growth since 2011. While Facebook was still widely successful, it did experience many problems due to their lack of honesty.

There are more people listening and observing now than ever before and they now have the power to speak up. Cancel culture will continue to thrive in a social media minded society that still gives platforms to problematic people and companies.

Gluten-free: The way to be or just trendy?

Reading the nutrition facts label – it’s a common thing to do in the grocery store when starting a new diet. Calorie, carbohydrate and fat content are the usual suspects during this endeavor.

But wait a second.

There’s a neatly-packaged and healthy-looking food container sporting a “gluten-free” label sticking out against the others. Didn’t Karen at work mention the other day trying the gluten-free diet and feeling better afterward? The gluten-free food is more expensive than the others. Inevitably the gluten-free food finds its way into your cart and out of the store.

So what’s with all this talk about gluten-free diets? More importantly, what is gluten and why has it suddenly become a problem for so many in the last 10 years?   

First, it’s important to know exactly what gluten is and where it can be found. According to Robert Shmerling of Harvard Health Publishing, gluten is a protein that can be found in many grains, with the most common being wheat, rye and barley. Foods like bread, pasta, pizza and cereal are all sources of gluten. The condition that is most commonly responsible for gluten intolerance is celiac disease. It is a condition that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine when gluten is ingested and it is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans, or about 0.75 percent of the population, suffers from it. If someone with celiac disease eats something that contains even small amounts of gluten, they can experience symptoms like instant gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headache, trouble concentrating, and fatigue.    

So why do one in three Americans, many of whom don’t suffer from celiac disease, have a desire to reduce their gluten intake? There has to be more to the gluten-free fad than meets the eye. The issue that has gained traction is something called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity.” Adam Gehring, a clinical dietitian from Parkview Lagrange Hospital, said it is not known from a medical perspective if non-celiac gluten sensitivity exists.

“Whenever we get into that realm that’s whenever we start to leave research,” Gehring said. “We start to actually enter into the realm of speculation.

According to Beyond Celiac, a national organization focused on raising awareness for celiac-related illness, there are an estimated 21,000,000 Americans needing a gluten-free diet. Additionally, celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed in as many as 83 percent of those suffering from the condition.

Gehring said many individuals who don’t have celiac disease but report feeling better after eating gluten-free food likely didn’t have the best diet in the first place. Foods such as meat, fruit, vegetables and dairy are already healthy gluten-free options. Gehring said as a result, it’s no surprise people begin feeling better when they begin eating these foods. This scenario of correlation not equaling causation, as well as people not following a strict gluten-free diet, is why Gehring said non-celiac gluten sensitivity is speculation even though research says it might be real.

“It’s almost like a lot of people today just do a gluten-reduced diet and they feel a lot better from it.” Gehring said.

According to Robert Shmerling of Harvard Health Publishing, there are many reasons the gluten-free diet has become popular. One reason is the intuition that it just seems like a good idea. Other convincing reasons to adopt a gluten-free diet include celebrity endorsement and logic. If gluten is bad for those with celiac disease, maybe it’s bad for other people too. Testimonials from other people and marketing also contribute to convincing people to reduce their gluten intake. With there being hundreds of gluten-free meal and snack ideas on the internet, it’s clear that many people are now considering their gluten consumption.

A 2014 study from the International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition said there are people that say they experience digestive problems but not a severe reaction when eating gluten. The study went on to say the next chapter of gluten sensitivity is more clinical research since a larger amount of data are needed to confirm these stories. Even though experts say non-celiac gluten sensitivity is currently speculation and research on it is sparse, gluten intolerance is still a very real issue for those with celiac disease.

Jessica Reynolds, 27, said she was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was 17 and had to make tough lifestyle changes.

“Gluten-free food is actually more expensive than regular food because of the way they have to process it and make sure nothing gets in it,” Reynolds said. “You kind of have to cut expenses from other places to be able to afford the food.”

Another lifestyle change Reynolds said she had to make was changing the lip balm she used. Reynolds said she discovered something called “hidden sources of gluten” from her dietitian when she found out her lip balm was made with wheat germ.

“I just kept getting sicker and sicker and sicker and couldn’t figure out why,” Reynolds said. “I checked the packaging of the chapstick I was using and wheat germ was used as a binding agent in the chapstick.”

Since being diagnosed with celiac disease, Reynolds said the lifestyle has become second nature to her but she doesn’t understand why the gluten-free diet became so popular.

“I actually think it’s completely ridiculous that it’s a diet because unless you need it, it’s not as healthy for you,” Reynolds said. “It’s generally higher in carbohydrates and fats because of all the substitutes you have to use and wouldn’t cause anyone to lose weight.”

So the next time you’re reading the nutrition facts label during a trip to the grocery store, you’re welcome to try gluten-free foods – but Reynolds recommends finding research on gluten intolerance from reputable sources, and Gehring recommends visiting a registered dietitian if you think you have gluten intolerance. After all, non-celiac gluten sensitivity still lies within speculation and needs research to determine its existence.

 

New Micro-Brewing Trend Has Fort Wayne Hopping

Fort Wayne has more than a dozen breweries, with over half being locally owned businesses. In recent years, the trend of micro-brewing and craft beers has skyrocketed throughout the United States with Fort Wayne noticing the effects of this national trend.

Overall U.S. craft brewer sales continued to grow, reaching 12.7 percent of the U.S. beer market in terms of volume. Retail dollar sales of craft beer increased 8 percent, up to $26 billion, and now account for more than 23 percent of the $111.4 billion U.S. beer market, according to BrewersAssociation.org.

The Brewers Association also revealed there are now over 6,000 breweries operating the in the U.S., which is more than double the number from just four years ago. And in 2018, brewers and craft beer could have had their biggest year yet. Locally, since January 2018, four new breweries have opened in Fort Wayne.

Ashley Spranger, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s stakeholder engagement and experience manager, said the trend has only just begun in the city.

“At the rate we are going, Fort Wayne has the potential to be viewed as a ‘brewery hub.’ I see people coming from outside the city, region and maybe even the state to experience what our breweries have to offer,” Spranger said.

The first brewery in Fort Wayne, Mad Anthony’s Brewing Co., was founded in 1998, according to Linda Lipp, writer for the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly. While this local craft brewery is still operating in Fort Wayne today, additional locations have popped up in other parts of Indiana, including Auburn, Warsaw and Angola. According to VisitFortWayne.com, there are now more than 14 breweries in Fort Wayne –– with more to open in 2019.

Several months ago, 17 brewers from Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana came together to form the Northern Indiana Brewers Association. The organization, founded to help strengthen relationships between brewers in the area, expects to grow as more breweries open in Northeast Indiana.

Thea Spielman, a local self-declared craft beer enthusiast with a love for Mad Anthony’s dark Harry Baals Irish Stout, was excited about all the options and the growth of local brewed beers.

“I love that I can go to a different spot every weekend, and each place has their own vibe and specialty,” Spielman said. She explained that for her it is important to support the Fort Wayne economy, so she chooses local breweries instead of national ones.

Aside from selling beer, many businesses are offering brewery tours, allowing guests to learn more about the brewing process and to see the inner-workings of the beer they are consuming. Hop River Brewing Company, which opened last February, is a 15-barrel production taproom in downtown Fort Wayne, and offers several tour times throughout the day. 

Taylor Miller, shift supervisor at Hop River Brewing Company, is passionate about representing the product they create.

“Most of us local breweries all support and interact with each other, and we love to help each other grow. More breweries, more growth,” Miller said.

And to keep the trend up and expanding, a new program has begun to help support all the local breweries and encourage the exploration of the city’s craft beer offerings. The Northern Indiana Beer Trail passport program is a multi-brewery collaboration that will offer rewards once a person has visited a certain number of breweries throughout the city.

“We get a couple handfuls of people solely coming in trying to fill their passports with stamps,” Miller said. “It gets people out of their comfort zones, getting them to new breweries.”

The launching of the passport, along with several breweries expected to open in 2019 and the “Brewed IN the Fort” craft beer festival, suggests the trend is not likely to fizzle out anytime soon.

What Is 4K All About?

You may have seen or heard about 4K by visiting stores or websites that sell TVs and other digital display products. You may have wondered how this technology improves on what exists already or if it’s even a necessary investment. Professionals and consumers have their own thoughts about this 4K trend and the implications it has on the market.

4K is shorthand for the ultrahigh definition video format, which typically displays at a pixel resolution of either 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels. Since 2010, usage of the 4K video format has seen a steady rise in popularity, with the first 4K disc media and disc players appearing in stores in early 2016. While there is excitement around the potential of the 4K video format, questions of whether it was released at the right time or whether investing in the format is practical, remain unanswered.

Some consumers are very enthusiastic about 4K and what it offers as a new media format. Chris Rearick, a gamer and computer enthusiast, had optimistic remarks about 4K.

“I’d say it adds to the experience. Good 4K has higher depth of colors and PPI (Pixels Per Inch). HDR (High-Dynamic Range) is part of the range of colors. HDR is pertinent if you get a 4K anything.”

Rearick is confident that 4K is the future of gaming.

“I think it’s becoming the standard. 4K is super affordable and I would say at this point you aren’t early adopting; you are just buying the new standard.”

Tihomir Lazarov, a commercial portrait photographer and filmmaker, believes that the release of 4K hardware may have been premature since the average consumer can’t justify the five-figure purchase of high-end cameras.

“In my opinion, the jump to 4K was a bit too early for most low-budget video devices,” Lazarov said. “It seems the winners of that transition are mostly the hardware manufacturers. With benefits come higher requirements for storage and hardware performance. These can only make the camera and computer hardware manufacturers happy, but not your wallet. According to the prophets of higher-resolution videos, 4K must become a standard and that will make videos future-proof with the ever-growing display resolutions.”

However, Lazarov is not entirely against the industry adoption of 4K because there are benefits that a higher resolution such as 4K affords.

“More resolution gives you the freedom to crop in post and deliver in 2K without losing significant quality.”

Some industry professionals have a very different take on 4K. John Brune, video production industry veteran with over 30 years of experience and three regional Emmy awards, provided an interesting counterpoint about the 4K trend.

“To fully appreciate the maximum resolution of a 4K image you need a screen at least 30 feet wide. With monitors as they are today if you sit six to eight feet away you won’t be able to distinguish the difference between 4K and an HD image. Anything larger than 4K is likely to be used for wall-panel screens since typically anything at or greater than an Ultra HD image is beyond human eyesight capacity.”

As a small business owner, Brune doesn’t see 4K as being a practical investment since there is virtually no demand for it in his line of work.

“I don’t have clients asking for 4K. The only people that really care about it are TV and camera manufacturers. I would have to spend twice as much on storage, a new computer, new gear, etc. if I wanted to adopt 4K.”

There are certainly compelling arguments both for and against the tech industry adopting 4K. While the push for 4K products may have been premature, it does have certain advantages and offers flexibility for consumers and professionals alike. 4K is becoming more affordable as time goes on, but that doesn’t make it a sensible investment for everyone in the industry. It’s one thing to buy a 4K TV, but it’s another thing to purchase or finance a new set of equipment for a business. For professionals that don’t have the spending power of a large corporation, investment in a new format isn’t always sensible, despite the advantages it may bring.

Will 4K receive widespread adoption like high definition, or will it merely become a stepping stone to yet another emerging format? Ultimately, it will be up to the average consumer to decide.

Disclaimer: John Brune is the father of the reporter. To avoid conflicts of interest, the reporter is not involved in his father’s business and this article has been through a rigorous editorial process.

 

Controversy Over CBD Oil Being Widely Sold in Indiana

Since the legalization of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil on July 1, 2018, the cannabis derived products have been popping up on the shelves of gas stations, grocery stores and tobacco shops.

These products span a variety of categories, including vape juice, moisturizers, soda and even animal products. According to Organicfacts.net, CBD oil has been shown to offer various health benefits including the reduction or elimination of cancer cells, pain relief, metabolism balance, mood stability and skin healing.

CBD oil has been a major phenomenon in Indiana since it hit shelves, but there still has been some controversy over the hemp product. CBD oil is one of many compounds found in the cannabis plant which has caused many to question the quality of the products. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found in marijuana, is what causes a high but is not typically found in CBD oil unless otherwise specified. CBD without THC does not cause a high and in Indiana only .3 percent of THC is allowed in the oil.

In a statement to the Associated Press, IU Health Pain Center Doctor Gary Gettelfinger said there are hundreds of companies that are selling CBD oil, but many could be scammers.

Others don’t see it that way. Rob Coulter, manager at Copper Canyon Tobacco, says, “CBD is not regulated by the FDA. Anybody can sell it, but Indiana has certain revisions. All the CBD products sold in Indiana have to be traceable with QR codes that can be scanned and will show everything that is in the product.”

Coulter believes that those opposed to the usage of CBD oil are just not properly educated on the topic and that the commotion is all derived from ignorance.

“We get a lot of referrals from doctors actually. It’s a hot topic from both sides of the coin. We have some doctors that will completely turn away patients from it and we have some that are big champions of it.”

Coulter said that whatever view you have the on the products, you can’t deny the success stories.

“One of our workers has a niece that has had seizures all of her life and she’s been on CBD now for about 10 weeks and has had no seizures since. So from a 6-year-old child to the average clientele in their 50s and 60s, CBD oil is making an impact on lives.”

Coulter says young adults seem to be the most open to using CBD oil as a remedy, but they don’t purchase the product as often as other age groups. He finds them to be more interested in other vape products. Consumers in their twenties can have different perspectives on using the cannabidiol.

23-year-old Indiana Tech student Grace Moore is optimistic yet apprehensive about using the product.

“CBD oil shows promising results from testing so far, but hasn’t really been subjected to thorough testing that modern medications should undergo and I think without it, I don’t feel comfortable normalizing its use.”

Matt Connett, a 22-year-old active user of CBD oil and an advocate for its use, said he believes that the oil can not only help with anxiety and other health issues, but he thinks that if something can cause such tremendously beneficial outcomes immediately after its use then the long-term effects will be even better. He doesn’t understand the negative connotation to the products.

“Hemp and marijuana are plants that should be readily available to anyone who wants to consume them. The CBD derives from hemp so it isn’t psychoactive in the same way THC from marijuana is, so I don’t see why people are worried about its safeness.”

CBD oil is currently only illegal in four states, but in 16 states where the product is legal there are currently restrictions and revisions that must be met. Nearly all of this progress towards available access to CBD has occurred within the last year and changes are still being made that would allow for easier access to these products specifically in regards to medical conditions.