Longtime weed advocate and spokesperson for the decriminalization and mainstreaming of cannabis, rapper Snoop Dogg has spoken out against sports leagues that punish athletes that test positive for marijuana use. Instead of condemning marijuana use, athletic organizations should promote it as an alternative to prescription drugs to relieve pain, depression, and anxiety, Snoop said during a recent appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
"What happens is a lot of times [is] these athletes take these pills and they get addicted to these pills, and it still doesn’t give them the relief that they need as far as with the pain or whatever they’re going through,” Snoop Dogg told guest host Stephen A. Smith.
He added that when individuals on opioids or other prescription medications develop tolerances to drugs like Oxycontin and Xanax, they increase thier doses, which leads to addiction.
“Through the CBD, through the THC, through the marijuana, through the cannabis, they’re able to find a relaxation and getting the medical treatment that they deserve—without having those later side effects—so I push for that in sports,” Snoop said.
The treatment of athletes that test positive for cannabis became an international issue during this summer's Olympics in Tokyo, Japan after U.S. sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson was suspended from competing after she tested positive for marijuana, a violation of the World Anti-Doping Agency's regulations. The move was controversial since there is little argument that weed is a performance-enhancing drug.
Richardson said she used cannabis in Oregon after learning of her mother's death, but was Olympic committee refused to make an exception and allow her to compete, a move that has caused some sports leagues to at least open a discussion about modifying a marijuana ban, especially in states where recreational cannabis use is legal.
During an interview with NBC's "Today" Richardson addressed the controversy and said those who refuse to accept North America's growing interest in legalizing cannabis are hiding their heads in the sand. “You can’t run from reality,” she said. “It’s still going to be there no matter how long you choose to ignore it, no matter how long you choose to think it’s going to go away.”
She added that if her suspension from the Olympics leads sports leagues to drop or modify their laws against marijuana, her punishment would at least have accomplished something positive.
“If those rules do change, honestly I’m just blessed and proud of the fact I could do that for other athletes,” she said.
In related news, the online cannabis merchant Weedmaps has signed a multi-year partnership with NBA star Kevin Durant. The basketball player will take part in a promotional campaign to destigmatize cannabis and discuss the potential usefulness of weed to promote physical and mental health for athletes.
About the Writer
Jon Wiederhorn is a veteran author and journalist who specializes in books and articles about music and celebrities. His book credits include "Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal," "Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen" and "I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax." Jon's work has been published in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Guitar World, Revolver, US, Thrasher and many other publications.