Bud bans and the sporty stoner

Posted on July 06 2017

I’m not as such referring to a person’s ability to actually participate but more so the world of professional athletes and subsequently the bodies which govern them’s views on cannabis. As many of you may already know, cannabis is banned in pretty much every sport to an extent, the reason for which I struggle to pin down generally. My renewed interest in the topic of sport and it’s relationship with marijuana has come about as a result of Wimbledon, at each major sporting tournament, I like to ponder on which athletes I believe smoke cannabis. Tennis doesn’t strike you, at first glance, as a stoner’s sport, but then again neither does swimming but Michael Phelps proved everyone very wrong there.

In reality, now that I think about it, tennis would actually be pretty nice stoned. Perhaps I am merely associating tennis with nice weather, but as a whole, on a casual level, the sport is pretty chilled out. Especially when you compare it to sports like Olympic swimming, that would just be uncomfortably hectic. Let's look at how cannabis fairs in on of the biggest sporting events in the world.

It is somewhat alarming to learn that up until fairly recently, among Olympic athletes, marijuana was completely banned, now they are allowed to smoke it as long as it is not a day before their chosen event. It still seems a bit perplexing that being stoned would lead to a disqualification, I can understand why an athlete's team members and coaches would not want them stoned, but generally, weed is not a performance-enhancing drug and in most cases, it's the opposite. An eating contest could really be the only reason that I could see cannabis acting as an enhancer. However, this is not to say that the new regulations allowing marijuana to be used by Olympians at all is not progress.

To put this ridiculous rule into perspective, American star swimmer, Michael Phelps received a three-month ban from competing due to him confirming the authenticity of a photo of him smoking from a bong. This seems ridiculous as it wasn’t even during a competition. Also in 1998, Canadian snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati received a brief ban due to testing positive for marijuana shortly after winning gold. Bearing in mind what I said earlier about marijuana being unlikely to enhance performance this seems especially ridiculous. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that he should’ve been held in higher regard for taking what could be called a performance decreasing drug and winning. Shortly after his ban officials did realize that marijuana wasn’t actually on the list of banned substances, which I believe speaks volumes.



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