24 April 2010

Horrors! Rich people getting high!

I say rich people because it's in the WSJ

And it's about football prospects. I'd say we should be a bit confused. The selected players listed as users were: 1) a heisman trophy winning running back, 2) a pair of former all-pro linemen (plus a top prospect lineman), 3) two wide receivers, one a Super Bowl MVP and the other one was one of the best incoming rookies last year.

So either this is a performance enhancing drug of some sort or it's probably not worth the fuss. (Or they need other examples of guys who somehow wash out because of their weed problems. I do see some examples of this in the NBA, either alcoholism or drug use that seems to impact play and effort levels).

Point I would have is that I don't particularly care whether the NFL wants to test and ban people for marijuana use at all, even if the government gets around to effective or open legalisation. They are a private organisation and are able to make up their own rules through collective bargaining between the workers and the owners. What is of note is that alcohol is completely unmentioned here. I think it's safe to say that there are plenty of players getting drunk on a semi-to-regular basis (if the alcohol use rate is anything like the marijuana use rate compared to the general population). That's not terribly surprising given all the beer and alcohol related advertising pulled in by the NFL that this topic is skipped over by the league.

The second note is that they have people pushing to use medical exceptions (a prescription), something the league at present does not have.

That second point looks more and more what I think the professional sports leagues standards not just on marijuana should be, but also things like HGH or steroids, on the theory that they should only be used under proper medical supervision as a prescription for things like injury recovery or pain management (assuming that they work for either). The problem many people have is that they seem to think this trickles down to high school athletes or students in general. If, in particular steroids or HGH, are controlled substances limited to doctor's supervision, it's going to be fairly difficult to allow access and use by human bodies who are still developing and may be at risk of injury or permanent damage, much less that they would abuse the substance. I'm not quite sure what the risk of teenagers using pot is as distinguished from the risks of adults, but given the choice between teenagers getting high on pot or getting drunk on the basis that their athletic heroes can do it, I'd probably go with the first one. Given the more likely and pressing problem that teenagers get high (or drunk) because other teenagers do (and no I'm not talking about "peer pressure"), I'm not that worried about what NFL players do.
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