by Kent Sterling
The affection some people have for pot use is baffling. I spent a lot of time in high school and college around those who enjoyed getting stoned, and their behavior convinced me of its idiocy.
When stoned, people sit quietly insulated from others. That’s not the way I want to live one minute of my life, so embracing weed use was not on my agenda. Endangering your health should come with a benefit, not a penalty.
That doesn’t mean others can’t find a way to enjoy themselves while high. Pharmaceuticals affect people differently, and who am I to judge whether smoking pot is good for a cornerback in the NFL or a college student living in a dorm?
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark was quoted by ESPN.com that he has teammates who smoke pot for a variety of reasons, “I know guys on my team who smoke,” Clark said. “And it’s not a situation where you think, ‘Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.’ These are guys who want to do it recreationally.
“A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.’ Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.”
Of course, anesthetization is a poor remedy for life’s challenges, but people are mostly dumb beasts just trying to beat the heat until they die, so pot use is rampant – as is drinking, as is the use of more insidious drugs. Hey, if smart people like Phillip Seymour Hoffman are willing to stick needles filled with heroin in their arms, what are the chances of getting a bunch of well-paid athletes to embrace a clean and sober lifestyle?
The NFL is talking about the possibility of eliminating marijuana from its list of banned substances, but there is really not much need to lift the prohibition. The testing protocol allows for tests during OTAs or minicamp, and then once in the preseason. That’s it. So once the tests are administered during the preseason, smoke ’em if you got ’em.
Honesty is a good policy, and hypocrites are the lowest form of scum, so the NFL saying that pot use is cool by them just makes sense. The timing of their tests shows they know getting 2,000 valuable assets to toe the line is impossible. Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that he will get out of the way of dumbasses being dumbasses would be refreshing.
Adults with a functioning brain know the score. The drug policy in the NFL has nothing to do with the health of the players, and everything to do with marketing. Many fans don’t feel good about investing their hard earned cash on a product played by a bunch of stoners, so they make a lot of noise about drug prevention, and every once in awhile some boob or addict tests dirty and is suspended because he can’t stay clean for the brief periods in front of the tests he knows are coming.
There are former players committing suicide regularly because of degenerative memory loss from the unavoidable blunt force trauma inherent in football. Steering players away from recreational pot use can’t rightfully be claimed as a moral initiative of the NFL as long as former players can’t remember where they live because of repeated brain injuries suffered during practices and games.
People aren’t very bright. Even the smartest people on the planet do dumb things. Expecting more of people than that which they are capable has long been a root cause of humanity’s apparent love of disappointment. Those who preach tolerance are often the most judgmental. Those who demand chastity are prone toward sexual indulgences. Hey, if the Catholic Church is paying millions and millions to hundreds of victims of priests who lived secret lives as sexual predators, who are we to expect young and rich men who grew up in a drug culture to not fire up once in a while?
Does it make sense for people who make lots of money with their bodies to inhale poison on a regular basis? No, but there are a lot of things that don’t make sense. Is it logical for the poor to waste their money gambling on state run lotteries with roughly a 50% payout? It’s worse than wrong. It’s a state sanctioned super-predatory tax.
Don’t believe me? Drive to a gas station selling MegaMillions tickets when the jackpot gets to $200 million. The people waiting in line to piss away their cash is filled with the people who can least afford to lose.
Let’s get off our high horse and lower our hope for humanity. We are flawed. We are stupid. Accept it. We should judge less and laugh more.
If NFL players want to harm their own minds and bodies, why make a show of trying to stop them?