America is going to pot – literally.
Marijuana is now more mainstream than main street, as evidenced by a recent USA Today story that quoted former NBA player Kenyon Martin as saying that more than 85 percent of basketball players smoked pot during his playing days and former NFL player Martellus Bennett believed the number is even higher among football players, all of which might help to explain the New York Jets.
Although the above statistics are as scientific and likely exaggerated as Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth," you get the point.
Pot is everywhere, and places where it is not yet legal are falling like dominos.
Rarely do we ever hear a discouraging word about this development. Instead we hear happy talk about how this will solve budget deficits, that it's no worse for you than a cocktail, and that it is a great source of pain relief for people with certain afflictions.
At the current rate, I expect the surgeon general to start giving rolling tips any day now as a public service.
Most of this is poppycock of course. If we are to be honest we should acknowledge that it's not even debatable; marijuana is harmful to one’s mental and physical health, and much more so than we assumed a few decades ago. The libertarian streak in me sometimes asks why should I care if the other guy wants to toke his life away, and is it really any of my business if he does?
I’d be tempted to shut up on the subject if it wasn’t for the hypocrisy from the self-appointed health police which are everywhere. At no time in American history have we had so many busibodies who feel it is their right and duty to tell you what you should do regarding your own personal health. And to this end, more and more the health scolders have laws and regulations on their side in telling you how to live.
Want a sugary drink? Be prepared, for your own good mind you, to be taxed extra for it, and brace yourself for a lecture on how you are leading a life of ruin.
Don’t want health insurance or to buckle you seat belt or wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle? Expect to accrue fines, public scorn, and possible imprisonment for those health sins. Those who partake in smoking cigarettes and boozing are forever being reminded that they are persona non grata in polite society.
The list of these examples could go on and on.
But when it comes to marijuana smoking rarely do we hear public tsk-tsking.
You've probably witnessed this one before: the smell of cigarette smoke is wafting in a public area and without fail someone in a huff will confront the offenders or the manager of the place complaining that the second-hand cigarette smoke is killing them and demand the offender cease their activity at once.
Take the same group of people if they smell pot, chances are they say nothing. With enthusiastic health narcs all around us we get nothing but silence when it comes to ganja.
I assume the reason for this is that a sizeable portion of the adult American population is in a state of perpetual adolescence. Nobody wants to be labeled as un-cool by telling it like it is when it comes to pot. While at the same time, they have no problem tattling or bullying others on their non-marijuana personal health decisions, as this garners them "atta boys" from people whose approval they seek.
To put it bluntly (excuse the pun), smoking pot on a regular basis is much more dangerous than drinking a cola, being exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke or touching a door knob without sprinting for the antibacterial gel immediately afterwards.
Let’s be adult enough to recognize this.
And if you don’t call out others on their Cheech and Chong lifestyles, don’t you dare roll your eyes or try to educate me on how many calories it was when I’m finishing off that second donut.
Matthew Kastel is a 25-year veteran of working as an executive in the world of sports, including professional teams, organizations, and some of the largest vendors in the industry. Matt has also written two novels and teaches and lectures at universities on the business of sports. For more information you can visit his website at thirdstrikeproductions.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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