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Dana Larsen would have liked to see Michael Phelps defend his marijuana use, thinks smoking before games could help athletes

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marijuanaphelps.jpgIt's odd that a column saying it's a "pity" Michael Phelps didn't have the courage to stand up and defend his marijuana use is not even close to the most controversial thing Forbes magazine has offered in the past 24 hours.

That honor would of course go to yesterday's piece rating Chicago as America's third-most miserable city.

But... it certainly is an interesting take.
"Olympic champion Michael Phelps is in good company as a world-class athlete who uses marijuana. It's a pity that he couldn't have been brave enough to stand up for his relationship with the world's most wonderful plant, instead of half-heartedly apologizing in an effort to salvage his sponsorship contracts.
This opinion is brought to you by Dana Larsen, who seems to think a little toking before ballgames would be a great benefit to athletes.

"Like a stoned jazz musician adding more complexity and beats to a song, time slowdown might allow an athlete to more rapidly evaluate different options, more quickly consider moves and maneuvers against competing players.

Most marijuana research is done to show some sort of harm from the use of this plant, but not enough is being done to understand how cannabis can actually enhance and improve human abilities. Discovering how toking up possibly helps the world's greatest athletes to better their performance could also teach us how this plant can better serve us all.

Now, it should be noted that Larsen is is the founder of the Vancouver Medical Cannabis Dispensary and the author of Hairy Pothead and the Marijuana Stone. So, he may have an agenda. But, on the other hand, the comments we've received regarding Phelps' pot use have been overwhelmingly defensive of his habit.

So, is Larsen on to anything here or he just blowing smoke?

Pot-Smoking Phelps Isn't Alone Among Athletes    (Forbes)

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9 Comments

Does the research mentioned include the effects of the drug on a 14 year-old while they try to maintain school and teenage responsibilities? We're talking a 14 year-old who is high. This country has a major problem with juveniles, crime related, violence. Maybe if they were all just toking, the statistics would go down??? With regards to Phelps, he is the one who told the kids, over and over again, "actions speak louder than words", and "I'm your role model". I don't think a dope smoking person is any kind of role model for teenagers. But if I m reading this article correctly, Phelps should have said, "hey kids, get high, do your thing." And if a teenager gets high, steals a car, goes on a high speed thrill, and kills 3 people, what does that do to the research? Athletes toking before competition, kids getting high and killing people, is there some kind of correlation in the research? Open for debate.

How many 14 kids do you know of that got so high they went driving around and killing people Ellen? I was getting high when I was 14 and the only thing I wanted to do was eat everything on Burger King's menu. Open your eyes Ellen, marijuana is much safer than many legal substances!

Larsen's article was off to a great start, but his knowledge of professional sports took a "massive hit" to its credibility when he "reefered" to Rasheed Wallace as a basketball legend. I'm guessing his editor approved the piece to sell magazines, which doesn't really speak very "high" of what they've got going on at Forbes.

I must agree with the article for a multitude of extremly complex reasons. The first of which is how benificial marijuana has proved to be in the safe alleviation of pain and nausea. There is actually a synthetic form and a spray form, not to mention a vareity of other delivery systems that can be utilized to safley ingest the tetra-hydra cannabinol(THC). We, as a general populace, however, are left in the dark about such postive uses of a fabled and timeless plant icon in order to become subserviant to the law-makers and social mores that determine who, when, why, and how much "dope" a person ultimatley smokes.

Second, have you ever won 14 olympic gold medals. I didn't think so, so please stop acting like you have the slightest clue of the physical regiment, and social undertakings that accompany such an amazing feat. He does what he does because he can, and because he deserves to unwind. Moreover Ellen, it is clearly apparent that you have not ingested Marijuana or any of its related products because you seem to have a "1950's reefer madness" mindset, that is to say that you show(in that one little article response) a complete and total lack of understanding of the direct physical/mental effects of smoked marijuana. By being so judgemental, you are in effect replicating values and folkways that serve to reinforce stereotyping as an acceptable social behavior. Tisk Tisk.

Marijuana is, however, a gateway drug. A gateway to the drugs that actually do cause violent murders and accidental car fatalities. It is not going to go away though, because of its general acceptance by sub group of the population as a whole. The trick here would be to provide actual relevant education to our children and selves that things like driving under the influence and Instant death causing drugs are unaceptable and neccesitate avoidance at all costs. BY legalizing, controlling, and re-distrubuting funds to combat hardcore street drugs and to provide useful education about new laws, we can in effect solve so many of these other socially debilitating issues. You will not be forced to smoke if it becomes legal, and if decriminalization occurs a wide array of positive outcomes will accompany it. There would undoubtably be legislation to control the safe use, much like alcohol, and in most cases the finicial burden placed on the habitual smoker may be lifted thus enableing said smoker a more lucrative and satisfaction providing life.

Mr. Phelps is a man, just like Barack Obama,Tommy Chong(unfairly f'ed by the feds)and Gore Vidal. ALL exposed to elements of humanity, but not afraid to explore the world and their own minds and all that they may offer, even if it includes marijuana.

By the way, im only six months younger then Phelps and I smoke weed everday. I attend college, I work a demanding full time job. I have a beautiful stoner girlfriend with whom i have a blast. I have never started a fight or killed anyone... I will not overdose, but I will continuously try though.

The times are changing and so should you. Don't smoke weed if dont want, but dont try to make others feel inferior or like lesser beings for their own discretions and actions.

As the parent of teenage and college age children (young adults, really), it seems to me to be such a waste of time and money to arrest, prosecute, and imprison our own children for such a wide-spread and relatively innocuous behavior. Do we really want to put our own kids in prison with violent criminals for doing something that both our current Democratic President and the recent Republican Vice Presidential candidate acknowledge having done themselves?
If we’re serious about securing our borders, protecting our children from drug-dealing murderers, and pumping some much-needed revenue into the public treasury, we’ll implement a Personal Use and Cultivation Permit, similar to a fishing permit, allowing ordinary Americans to grow a little marijuana in their own back yards. If the permit cost $100 per year, and if even one-third of the estimated 30 Million Americans who use marijuana each year were to obtain such a permit, it would pump a Billion dollars into the public pocketbook and rip the guts out of the criminal drug gangs’ cash flow.
It’s time to put the drug dealing criminals out of business and let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

As the parent of teenage and college age children (young adults, really), it seems to me to be such a waste of time and money to arrest, prosecute, and imprison our own children for such a wide-spread and relatively innocuous behavior. Do we really want to put our own kids in prison with violent criminals for doing something that both our current Democratic President and the recent Republican Vice Presidential candidate acknowledge having done themselves?
If we’re serious about securing our borders, protecting our children from drug-dealing murderers, and pumping some much-needed revenue into the public treasury, we’ll implement a Personal Use and Cultivation Permit, similar to a fishing permit, allowing ordinary Americans to grow a little marijuana in their own back yards. If the permit cost $100 per year, and if even one-third of the estimated 30 Million Americans who use marijuana each year were to obtain such a permit, it would pump a Billion dollars into the public pocketbook and rip the guts out of the criminal drug gangs’ cash flow.
It’s time to put the drug dealing criminals out of business and let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.

For much of my young teen life into my 20's & 30's I was always loved being athletic - I'm not sure if I'd ever consider myself great but at the same time I always played first string on any team sports that I was involved in. Yet, during all this time & into the present, I have always preferred to relax with cannabis. I never cared much for alcohol. Alcohol always made me feel stupid and it gives me a headache...even makes me feel sick. Cannabis has always been kind to me. It never made me want to steal a car or kill people...I'm not even sure where that idea came from. At any rate, I'm in my mid 40's now & my passion is recreational sports like mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, etc. I have to say these activities go hand in hand with cannabis. I smoke a little before hitting the mountains & then when I'm done I like to sit back at home & relive my adventure for that day with a little more cannabis. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think I understand what Dana is trying to convey & I agree there needs to be some studies about the connection between cannabis & physical activities.

Want the truth? Can you handle it? The real reason "hemp" is illegal is because of a couple of greedy bastards. Seem like greedy bastards are always screwing things up for everyone else. Just look at our situation now. People are dying because of marijuana laws. Marijuana laws kill, marijuana doesn't. How do those laws make sense? http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_marijuana_illegal This link explains how marijuana laws came about. One more thing, Michael Phelps is in good company, many of our country's founding fathers enjoyed relaxing with hemp (marijuana).

Ellen Gross, you're too ignorant to even spend the time to retort. kyle (the college kid) you had it right up until a point. Marijuana is a gateway drug like kissing is the gateway to teenage pregnancy. Marijuana is illegal because a newspaper baron of the 1930's helped Anslinger with the use of his free media incite public fear about the use of marijuana. In reality, the hemp plant is what made the paper baron afraid of because hemp would give the paper mills a run for their money which this paper baron owned in order the print his papers. There are studies published in medical journals as to the benefits of marijuana use when taken in quantative dosages (not abusive dosages). Have you ever heard of anyone dying from an overdose of marijuana? But you certainly have from alcohol or other legal substances that on the market today. This is some of the reason why its still illegal. Imagine all of the money that would be lost to big pharma, the politicians, the cops who continue to make this drug illegal. You can't patent a natural plant, you can't make money off it unless the government taxes it. But they knew back in 1930s that would be hard to police hence the the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Wake up people. I don't even smoke it and I know we're being hosed by the government.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on February 11, 2009 7:49 PM.

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