Why is Cannabis Taboo Among Athletes?

Posted on August 09 2016

It is somewhat alarming to learn that up until 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. This still seems a bit strange that being stoned would lead to a disqualification, I can understand why an athlete's team members and coaches would not want them stoned, my point being that generally weed is not a performance-enhancing drug and in most cases, it's the opposite. 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 realise that marijuana wasn’t actually on the list of banned substances, which I believe speaks volumes.

In conclusion, if smoking weed affects the career of a man who managed to win nineteen gold medals (Phelps) it can harm anyone's career which is wrong. These new regulations go some way to remedying the situation however, they don’t go the whole way, it should be down to each individual team, as they are the ones who are going to be affected.



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