Reefer madness has been a part of sports for a long time. I was kicked off my high school basketball team because I smoked marijuana, despite the fact that I didn’t have any discipline issues, and I know that’s a common story across the nation. Student athletes are booted from teams in college for marijuana only infractions, and many pro athletes are reprimanded for their marijuana use. It’s ironic, because athletes over the age of 21 can drink alcohol all they want and it’s OK, but if they fire up a joint to relax or alleviate their pains they are considered heathens. Below is a message from the Marijuana Policy Project describing a recent unfortunate scenario where a college football coach was forced to resign for simply being around marijuana:
This Wednesday head coach of the Florida Atlantic University football team, Carl Pelini, was forced to resign from his position in the dawn of his second season. It wasn’t Pelini’s 5-15 record or past personal issues that forced his hand but the reaction to rumors of a party he attended. According to these rumors, Pelini and one of his assistants attended a party where marijuana was present. That’s it. The university told Pelini and his assistant that it would be best for them to step down immediately.
While there are rumors that there was marijuana present, there is no doubt that there was alcohol available at this party, as it is at almost every other social event in college or elsewhere. Alcohol is far more toxic to the human body and dangerous to our society than marijuana. Yet there would have been no repercussions for Carl Pelini for attending a party where alcohol was present, or even for drinking it.
Prohibiting marijuana use while allowing, and often encouraging, alcohol consumption is a hypocrisy that needs to stop. Pelini never would have had to resign for drinking alcohol, so he certainly shouldn’t have to for attending a party where some people were making a safer choice.