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Olympics Highlight Outdated Marijuana Regulations

Olympics Highlight Outdated Marijuana Regulations

The Olympic Games provides the entire world with an opportunity to put aside our differences and enjoy the performances of the most skilled athletes across the globe.  The interest in the London games seems to be at a peak as NBC has enjoyed massive ratings. However, as we have seen at every Olympic competition, there are some controversies that simply just do not make any sense.

Although the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, has graciously been one of America’s heroes for the past several Olympics, critics were quick to try and cause his demise when a pictured surfaced of him smoking marijuana.  The athlete who dedicated his entire young life to his country and his craft was all of the sudden a villain for trying to unwind and enjoy some rare downtime.  What would the story have been if he consumed a beer, which likely would be more detrimental to his training and diet? Phelps was suspended for 3 months from USA swimming even without ever failing a drug test.  We are thrilled to see Phelps regain his previous form and take home three gold medals inflating his

Fortunately for Michael Phelps he was not banned from the games for his marijuana use.  The same cannot be said for two devastated American athletes who have been banned from the London games for testing positive for marijuana.  Female American wrestler Stephany Lee found out several weeks ago that she would not be permitted to compete.  Also now forced to watch from home is judoka competitor Nicholas Delpopolo.  He too tested positive for marijuana which will now compromise his life’s work.

Olympic organizers need to start to re-think their cannabis policy.  Exactly why is it that a benign substance, and of the most commonly used around the world can result in a premature exit from Olympic competition?  Performance enhancers such as steroids or human growth hormone can present an unfair competitive advantage and also have been linked to serious health complications.  Of course most people agree with testing for performance enhancers, but marijuana clearly does not fit that bill.  Marijuana use is becoming more accepted around the world and if the Olympic Games wants to showcase the best athletes they may have to start abiding by their true mission, which is to respect the cultures from around the world.  Marijuana is now part of the world culture and criminalizing it for no other reason than enforcing the status quo is not at all part of the spirit we all tune in for.

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