Let them smoke?

Brendan Mendoza, Guest Columnist

Marijuana has been dated to be one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans. There is even Chinese medical reference that has been dated at 2700 BC as they used it for medical reasons.
Possession of marijuana is legal in many countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Netherlands, North Korea, Uruguay and a number of states in the U.S. In fact about one-eighth of Americans over the age of 12 smoke weed regularly.
Most of the professional sports have banned the use of marijuana such as NBA, NFL and the MLB. However, the use of marijuana is not banned in NHL, and that makes me wonder why it isn’t legal in every sport.
Scientists have constantly proven that marijuana does not give you an edge in sports, yet it is still banned mostly all over the country. Some of the greatest athletes of our generation have been caught using or possessing it and still have achieved greatness.
When Tim Lincecum was using, he was arguably the best player in baseball during that time and ended up a three-time World Series winner, four-time All-Star, back-to-back Cy Young Award winner and the pitcher of two no-hitters. Most pitchers would kill to have these stats.
Michael Phelps, stoner and by far the greatest Olympic athlete in history, brought in 28 medals, 23 of them gold.
Some other athletes caught with marijuana include Marshawn Lynch, Randy Moss, Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and many others.
The media makes it look like athletes smoke just because they don’t care and are just looking for a high, but that is not correct in many situations. So many athletes’ bodies are being destroyed on a weekly basis. This is just a way to clear their mind or relax from all the pain they have encountered.
Imagine getting hit in the head by athletes who are 6’6 and 350 pounds of pure muscle every play for 60 minutes, for 16 or more games a year. And at the end of the game you have to do it all again in a week or less.
I don’t think that massages and ice baths will cut it for all the pain you receive through the long season. A record-breaking 182 NFL players recorded a concussion in the 2015 season, which is a 58% increase from the 2014 season and the largest in league history.
Many athletes have come out to say that smoking marijuana is one of the only ways to cope with all of the pain they receive through the sport that they love. There is even a case where a former NFL player named Kyle Turly said that his use of marijuana saved his life, because of all the pains that football has caused him, including concussions.
Sadly, there was even a case where a former 20-year NFL veteran Junior Seau had taken his life by shooting himself in the chest with a gun because of all the pain he received throughout his career, and he just wanted the pain to go away.
Since then, the NFL has done a lot to change the game and avoid injuries to their players, but one step they haven’t done yet is to allow the use of marijuana to help these athletes.
Weed doesn’t make you hurt anyone, do anything crazy, or even give you an advantage in your sport. It simply is a depressant that helps people calm their nerves and get through all the pain they’re currently in.
Obviously athletes aren’t going to play while intoxicated, but while they are on their own time, I don’t see anything wrong with it if they do it in a safe way. The negative effects of this are minimal and it is way safer than alcohol.
I have never heard of someone dying from smoking too much marijuana, but I have heard people die from the effects of alcohol all the time. Athletes shouldn’t be severely suspended or viewed in a negative way because they wanted to relax and ease their pain.