Booze, not pot, the real problem

I agree with Sam Smith here over 1,000 percent, if not more. Not just in professional sports, but in all walks of life, boozers cause way more societal damage than stoners. I don't want to outlaw alcohol (obviously), but rather decriminalize marijuana. From my perspective, both inebriates are roughly the same - moderate use, no problem, heavy use, possible issue - yet alcohol drinkers are more likely to run you over, more likely to be violent, more likely to negatively affect the healthcare system, yadda yadda. So why are pot smokers the ones going to jail? Anyway, Sam Smith lights one up (probably metaphorically) and ruminates about Joakim Noah being arrested for having a tiny amount of marijuana on his person, on vacation, while Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen put several six packs of beer into their gym bags after a game, presumedly to drink on the way home.

Yes, back in 2001, Charles Oakley decided that maybe 50 to 60 percent of the players in the NBA used marijuana. A few years later, the Rocky Mountain News surveyed NBA players and from a sample of about 60 decided that some 30 percent of the players were using the drug.

Both of these accounts followed a 1997 New York Times report of substance abuse among NBA players and threw out a figure of 60 to 70 percent, though lost in the fine print was no real distinction between alcohol and marijuana.

And, yes, there’s the rub.

I know, I know, marijuana is illegal and alcohol is not.

But this should give pause to everyone who reads and reacts to headlines of NBA players using or being arrested in connection with marijuana.

I don’t know how many players in the NBA use marijuana, though we do know now about Noah. We’ve previously heard issues with Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Robert Parish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rasheed Wallace and at one time most of Portland, though it is a particularly liberal place.

Of course, we’ve also heard the same about former President Bill Clinton, who insisted he didn’t inhale, and now U.S. Senator Barack Obama, who also wrote in his first book about experimenting with “blow,” the street name for cocaine.

Using Aristotelian logic, perhaps this means more NBA players than we think could be running for president, though in the Democratic party. Which might not be a bad thing because perhaps they’d be too mellow to be declaring war so often.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on June 21, 2008 2:01 PM.

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