Go Green! Legalize It

Finally, from the bastion of liberality, comes a column that just plain makes sense. Gwen Knapp, who I’m going to assume is the smartest columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle came out with an article entitled “Sports should go green, allow pot smoking.” I for one, am shocked that out of San Francisco comes this sentiment, I never would have thought they’d go for such an idea.

I’ll leave you to read the full article, but, here are some choice tidbits:

Just as the economy has tanked, strangling sponsorships all over the athletic map, a Super Bowl MVP and the most decorated Olympian of all time have emerged as partakers. Advocates for drug reform have long said that legalizing marijuana would increase tax revenue, not to mention reduce violence in the dealer population. In sports, the door would open for a cash flow to fill the creek bed left dry by a shriveling General Motors, Citigroup and their ilk.

So when Michael Phelps got caught on camera taking a bong hit, Kellogg’s should have followed Disney’s example and let it go. Santonio Holmes was stopped by police and cited for having three grass-filled cigars in his car last fall, but he still got to party with Goofy and Mickey in Florida after catching the winning touchdown pass for the Steelers in the Super Bowl. …

The interesting thing is that neither of them denied what happened. Phelps owned up to what the photograph clearly revealed. Holmes, according to published reports, willingly turned the cigars over to police and, when asked if the smell of burned pot indicated that he had just smoked one, said no. He told them he had done it the day before. …

Still, quashing pot is an unfortunate priority in the sports world. Ricky Williams nearly gave up his football career because of repeated positive tests. He said that pot helped alleviate his depression better than the prescription drugs he once endorsed. No wonder he had to be driven out of the public eye.

He was a dangerous man, threatening to unmask the pharmaceutical industry. Next thing you know, somebody might be saying that smoking grass helps take the edge off football’s aches and pains more effectively than Vicodin. We can’t have that. …

Common sense says that athletes shouldn’t be punished for pot any more than they would be if they ran a red light. Creative thinking says that the sports leagues should lobby for legalization and then treat the stuff like Gatorade or Budweiser. Call it the greening of athletics, which it will be, as soon as the checks clear.

Finally! Someone is talking sense. From what I know anecdotally, many baseball players are big potheads, after all, there are a lot of nights in hotels, we already know basketball players love blazing, we’ve seen plenty of NFL players getting in trouble for weed issues. I don’t think anyone would argue that weed helps anyone’s performance whatsoever, it might help with pain, but otherwise there are ZERO positives for sports.

Of course, it’ll never happen, but I can only hope as my generation gets older–an age bracket where smoking pot was just something that some people did/do rather than something DRUG USERS are doing–that it actually gets legalized and taxed. Sports can set the trend, make it happen!

[SF Gate]

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