Before you read this and start to form an opinion, please understand I simply mind my business. I will not confirm nor deny my support for either avenue. I just be chillin’. With that being said, Happy 4/20 everyone! Regardless of if you personally partake, or not, April 20th is a pretty chill day across the board. Given the nature of the “holiday,” there isn’t as much pomp-and-circumstance during the celebration at large. If you know, you know. If not, it’s just another day. For those not invited to take that “walk” or jump in the backseat for a ride to the store, “4/20” is essentially National Marijuana Day. A day where millions of people put one in the air, listen to Bob Marley and sing Kumbaya around the campfire.
I’m sure that’s not how it literally happens but you get the point. It’s up, and people are trying to get stuck. The substance largely remains illegal so it’s not so hard to understand why its usage tends to be shared amongst close knit groups. Sure there have been a few personalities and figures that glamorize the Jolly Green Giant such as Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech and Chong, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and of course the fan favorite Snoop Dogg, but that doesn’t exactly move the needle one way or the other. In our world today, numbers are the catalyst for change.
Talbott Recovery tells us that in 2018, 67% of doctors were actually in favor of the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In conjunction, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism ranks alcohol, arguably the most common drug known to man, as the third-leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. while the use of marijuana accounts for virtually zero. Additionally, The Pew Research Center points out 90% of Americans favor some form of marijuana legalization. Sports and statistics go hand in hand, follow me.
A literature review published in 2018 entitled, “Cannabis and the Health and Performance of the Elite Athlete” states there is no evidence supporting cannabis as a performance enhancing drug, and should most accurately be considered as the opposite. There has actually been proven potential for the substance to aid in the recovery of athletes in addition to reducing concussion-related symptoms. Case in point, one of the greatest receivers to ever play in the NFL, Calvin Johnson, has gone on record multiple times citing his use of marijuana as a therapeutic tactic against concussions and other ailments. Other notable athletes, like Matt Barnes and Conor McGregor, have gone on the record multiple times advocating for such use while being transparent about their own use of personal rehabilitation.
The World Anti Doping Agency or “WADA” published an article around 2011 stating that the use of cannabis can cause athletes to “potentially endanger themselves and others because of increased risk taking, slower reaction times, and poor executive function,” but then almost immediately states that “cannabis can be performance enhancing for some athletes and sports disciplines.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you’re going to publish a work that is used as a standard, why even publish such a contradictory statement? Not to mention the casting of some agenda by stating that the “use of illicit drugs that are harmful to health and that may have performance-enhancing properties is not consistent with the athlete as a role model for young people around the world.”
Are y’all about to sit here and use that as an example, a ROLE MODEL?!?! Again, I’m not picking a side but in all honesty we have prominent figures out here abusing people, committing fraud and lying simply because they can. But hey, go out and tell a kid to stay in school and eat their vegetables so all can be forgiven. Ultimately, there has been no concrete evidence suggesting that the use of marijuana has a negative impact on athletes let alone the average person. For conversation, or argumentative purposes, the only reason there’s a stigma around it is because those in power haven’t been able to fully control and tax the product since its discovery… or at least that was the explanation. With the recent emergence of the cannabis industry to the public sector the explanation has become sporadic and holds a seemingly racial connotation that was only adapted to deter the use of such in a positive light, but I digress.
Whether you agree or not is up to your personal agenda, just don’t ash somebody out for lighting up their life. See what I did there?