Tag: Entertainment

Secret Marijuana Grow Discovered at Legoland

As an adult walking around an amusement park, marijuana can come in handy. If you’re stealthy enough to make your way into the park with a little stash, being high can infinitely improve your theme park experience; seriously, it makes the lines seem shorter, the food taste better, and the people-watching exponentially more entertaining. But […]

 

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Do Sports Fans Care If Pro Athletes Use Marijuana?

There has been a major shift in the public perception of marijuana over the past decade, and that change in mentality may finally be hitting the world of sports.

Nationwide support for legalization is at an all-time high and lawmakers are starting to see the immense benefits of reform. As cannabis becomes more accepted culturally, it will continue to permeate all aspects of our society, including economics, entertainment, and even athletics.

ft_16-10-11_marijuanalegal_trendWe’ve already seen a transformation in media, with movies and shows like HBO’s “High Maintenance” beginning to depict an increasing amount of “real world” marijuana users rather than the prototypical “stoner” from Hollyweed-past.

Another huge source of entertainment in the United States is professional sports, the sector that may be able to use the help of cannabis most. Between the changing laws where many players call home and the rampant issues professional sports leagues face with opiate painkillers, marijuana could offer a beacon of hope to many players seeking an alternative and viable solution.

Many athletic organizations around the world are taking another look at cannabis and reevaluating their stance as more research is conducted. The World Doping Agency, who governs the drug testing for all Olympic athletes, has become more flexible with athletes who choose to use marijuana, opting to drastically lower their threshold for a positive text and only screen athletes during times of competition.

Other organizations like the NFL and the Nevada State Athletic Commission are exploring their options as well, as many athletes have become vocal about their displeasure with opiate-based treatment and their desire to have freedom of choice when it comes to their bodies.

On Michael Rapaport’s podcast last Friday, former NBA star Stephen Jackson went as far as saying he used to light up before games.

“I just gotta be real, you know, it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games,” the 14-year veteran told Rapaport.

Apparently, Jackson wasn’t the only player partaking, and at least one prominent coach knew about the alternative pain-relief regimen. The former NBA champion went on to add that Hall of Famer Don Nelson, Jackson’s coach while playing with the Golden State Warriors, hilariously approached the subject one time after a team drug screening.

“We’re in Utah, and the [league’s] drug test people are around, you know, to get our last drug test so we can smoke, right? Don Nelson, we talked about weed all the time. He was cool with talking about weed. We got our last test in Utah, right? So me and [teammate]Baron [Davis] are coming out the locker room just screaming, excited with our last pink slip saying we could smoke for the rest of the season, and Don Nelson hauls ass down there giving us high-fives, like, ‘Yeah, we can smoke now!’” Jackson remembered. “It was cool, the fact that he knows what’s going on off the court with his players, which was great, man. We enjoyed it. That’s why we were a great team.”

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Courtesy of Yahoo

Coach Nelson is far from the lone NBA coach or executive to speak out about the issue or marijuana, as Phil Jackson and Steve Kerr have both made cases for revisiting the league’s approach to cannabis recently.

Marketing and public perception are essential forms of currency for these leagues, as they must sell television commercials, tickets and merchandise to stay in the black, so it is understandable why they have been hesitant to embrace marijuana culture for fear of alienating their fanbase.

But is that fear of backlash still valid?

According to a new study from PRRI, it’s at least moving in the right direction.

According to the polling, 54% of Americans think a professional athlete should be allowed to use marijuana without punishment from the respective league, so long as it is legal in the player’s home state. Only 43% disagree and believe that pro athletes should be prohibited from using cannabis regardless of the legality in their state.

Not surprisingly, the numbers change fairly significantly when you drill the data down by age demographic. About 65% of seniors responded that athletes should be banned from using marijuana regardless of legality, while only 35% of respondents under the age of 30 agreed with that same statement. So it seems athletes, just like marijuana advocates across the country, must wait for a new generation of voters (and fans) to incite the reform they seek.

Cover Image Courtesy of Yogma/Flickr

 

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NFL Players Association Proposing “Less Punitive” Marijuana Program

As an increasing number of athletes and coaches call on their respective leagues to evolve from the dark ages of marijuana policy, at least one major players’ union is ready to join the fight.

Top brass among the NFL Players Association are working on a proposal that would see the NFL deal with recreational marijuana use by players in a “less punitive” manner.

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DeMaurice Smith / AP

This news comes down from the top of the NFLPA, Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, who told a pool of Washington Post reporters that the next step in the process will be presenting the plan to the NFLPA’s player representative board. Should the players approve of the proposed marijuana reform within the collective bargaining agreement, the NFLPA would then present the amendment to the NFL.

The most recent revisions to the NFL’s drug policy came in 2014, when the league and NFLPA agreed to raise the threshold for a positive marijuana test from 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter of urine to 35 nanograms. The World Doping Agency, who oversees Olympic drug testing, only considers samples with over 150 ng/mL of THC as positive tests.

“I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate,” Smith said to the Washington Post. “I think it’s important to look at whether there are addiction issues. And I think it’s important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it’s being used.”

Smith added:

“We have to do a better job of knowing if our players are suffering from other potentially dangerous psychological issues like depression, right? So if I look at this myopically as just a recreational use of marijuana and miss the fact that we might have players suffering from depression, what have I fixed? Worse yet, you may have solved an issue that gets the steady drumbeat in a newspaper but miss an issue like chronic depression . . . where a person theoretically might be able to smoke more weed because it makes them feel better but it’s not curing their depression. So to me, as we’re looking at that front end — and it’s been a long process — the reason why I think it’s more complicated than just making a quick decision about recreational use is we look at these things as a macro-issue. And what we try to do is what a union’s supposed to do: improve the health and safety of our players in a business that sometimes can seriously exacerbate existing physical and mental issues.”

The fight for marijuana reform in the NFL rages on as more and more players start to question the volume of painkillers they are given to stay on the field.

ESPN recently conducted a survey of over 225 active NFL players and concluded that nearly two-thirds of current NFL players say prescription painkiller use would be less prevalent if the league allowed them to utilize marijuana for the same purpose. Of the 226 players polled, 137 (61 percent) claimed that fewer of their fellow players would utilize pain-masking drugs like Toradol shots if marijuana was available. Among the same players surveyed, 64 percent were administered Toradol, making it the most common painkiller used in the NFL today.

The other argument for an easement of marijuana penalties in the NFL is the plant’s evolving legal status in many cities and states where NFL teams call home. Currently, 23 NFL teams are based in states with either legalized medical or adult-use marijuana.

Currently, the collectively bargained punishment schedule for marijuana in the NFL is as follows:

  • The first failed test results in the player being entered into the league’s substance abuse program, which places them under greater scrutiny going forward, including more frequent drug screenings.
  • A second positive test result will require a fine equal to two game checks from the player, which is pretty pricey, as you can imagine. So not only is the NFL asking players to perform without the aide of a safe and non-habit forming natural painkiller, but they’re not going to pay them for it should they test positive.
  • On the player’s third violation, the fine increases to the equivalent of four games worth of income.
  • Once a player tests positive for cannabis a fourth time, they are suspended without pay for four games.
  • A fifth violation results in a ten-game suspension without compensation.
  • If a player is flagged for a positive test a sixth time, they are banned from the NFL for one calendar year, after which they can apply for reinstatement pending league review.

“It’s legal where I live,” said one anonymous player to ESPN, “but not where I work.”

When asked how he thought the NFL would respond to the plan, if and when the pitch happens, DeMaurice Smith didn’t seem to be giving it much thought.

“I don’t spend time thinking about what the league thinks,” Smith explained. “I mean, it’s a waste of time … We will sit down and we will present a proposal to our board. If our board approves the proposal, we’ll sit down with the league and we will make the proposal to them. If we think that this is medically, scientifically and therapeutically the right position, then we tell the league, ‘Therapeutically, medically and scientifically, this is the right position.’

Do you think the NFL should loosen its restrictions on marijuana use among players? Let us know in the comment section and join the conversation on Facebook.

Cover image courtesy of Grantland

 

Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »