Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mad cheats

I just read an article the other day about the Iditarod and particularly about Lance Mackey, the man who won it this year.  The article talked a lot about this disadvantages Lance had including an amputated finger, poor circulation in his extremities and removed salivary glands due to an illness long ago.  The Iditarod is a 1000 mile dogsled race across the wilderness of Alaska in the winter of course so the medical disadvantages listed above are of extreme importance.
The most interesting part of the story to me was the big part that performance enhancing drugs played in it.  Lance has a prescription for medical marijuana and uses it for pain relief.  This situation has run him afoul of the people who organize the Iditarod because marijuana is for some bizarre reason considering a 'performance enhancing' drug in their books.

Just to be clear for anyone who doesn't know much about what exactly marijuana enhances, I will give you a briefing:

1.  The ability to flop on a couch.

2.  The ability to utter phrases like "Dude.  That is a great idea.  We gotta remember that.  Why do I always forget these great ideas later?"

3.  The ability to get the munchies.  This is often combined with 2.  "I totally need to get some more nachos."

4.  The ability to follow up 1, 2 and 3 with falling asleep on said couch.

Note all competitive advantages this would give someone on a grueling, dangerous race across a frozen winter landscape.  Any fool can see how useful it would be to have the munchies, make poor decisions, be lazy and fall asleep early on such a venture.

The idea that marijuana needs to be an illegal substance is laughable.  You can get just as high on gasoline, glue or week old orange juice and all of those are drastically worse for you than marijuana.  Anyone of age can drink alcohol if they want to and nobody is foolish enough to consider it a boost to athletic performance.  What amazes me is how the myth that marijuana is dangerous looks in juxtaposition to the fact that marijuana use is so widespread!  This isn't some closet habit of a tiny minority and yet the truths surrounding it are so obscured by the 'war on drugs' propaganda that people really have no idea what it entails.  What the war on drugs needs is to ignore relatively harmless habits like marijuana and focus on drugs that are real threats.  Legalize it, tax it, sell it in 7-11 stores and move on.


  1. I'd rather see a ban on alcohol and tabacco!

  2. As would I. I have some hope for electronic cigarettes though. Nicotine addiction isn't fantastic but eliminating all the other terrible junk in cigarettes is a tremendous step forward.

    Electronic cigarettes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKwrXOqa9TQ