Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Disclaimer: I do not advocate readership of this particular blog for those UNDER THE AGE OF 18, nor do I support the usage of said substance by those under 21. Stay in school, kids. 

For the rest of you, maturity, as always, is not required. 

With all the hype surrounding the high (heh heh) profile Proposition 19 out here in Californ-I-A on this Election Day, I figured I’d drop a little awareness on all of you out there in the rest of the hockey world (the West Coast, and the Rest coast), rolling you a little mental joint if you will, so Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out.

In the spirit of brevity, Prop 19 (aka Prop 420, I have no idea why) is the ballot measure in the state of California that will, if passed, legalize the personal use, limited cultivation, and transportation of marijuana by all persons over 21 years of age. It would end marijuana prohibition, thus allowing the State to regulate, tax and control cannabis how they choose (we’ll cross that crooked bridge when we come to it). Basically California's upward thinking is hoping this homely little plant with a heart of gold will (singlehandedly) pull the State out of debt, whilst pulling some rather shady characters off the streets and away from your underage kids. Not a bad idea in any part of the world, really.

‘But how does this affect me?’ you ask dubiously from the Rest Coast. Maybe it doesn’t. But it may have its place in the game we all love- baked or not, and depending on which way the votes swing, sooner than you think. Cannabis is currently legalized for medical purposes only in 16 US states, including California, Colorado, DC, Michigan, and New Jersey (NHL states); California having the loosest regulation and most progressive stand on the substance. Marijuana possession is still illegal in Canada, despite popular belief, but several loopholes exist, thus it is basically “decriminalized”. The NHL does not test for marijuana (though the Olympics organization does, so the big names ought to cut out the chronic), and as far as I know, usage (medically or recreationally) is not common among the NHL-set; but the discouraging stigma exists in any setting. 

I suppose most of the controversy (in sports) comes from the idea that marijuana may actually be a performance enhancer, though from personal experience, and mostly all second hand experience, it’s conclusive that it either hinders actual performance, or isn’t of any noticeable difference. The effects of marijuana on athletic performance include (but vary by individual):  impairment of hand-eye coordination, reaction time, motor coordination, perceptual accuracy, concentration, and reduces maximum exercise capacity (though the latter is arguable as I find it increases it, or perhaps just makes exercising more fun). If smoked (which is never recommended as a vehicle for medical purposes), it can cause long and short term respiratory issues, though there are completely safe options as far as medicating goes (vaporizing, edibles). I certainly wouldn’t recommend a pre-game bong hit or even a party-brownie as hockey is fast paced and requires quick reactions, and sharp thinking. Unless you like taking Too Many Men and Delay of Game penalties, beforehand usage would do a game situation no good.

However the potential medical benefits of cannabis to hockey players, and athletes in general are encouraging, and almost overwhelming. 

Here’s a broad list of hockey-related conditions that medical cannabis has been known to treat (approved conditions that qualify for a medical cannabis referral): 

Back pain/sprain
Brain trauma
Chronic Pain
Dyslexic Amblyopia
Gastrointestinal disorders
Knee/ankle/foot injury
Muscle tension/spasm
Post Concussion syndrome
Post surgery conditions
Stress-related conditions

Wow, a magical, all-natural, organic plant product that effectively treats pain of all types as well as emotional and mental conditions without the risk of dependency (unless you’ve never taken a hit in your life, you should know that marijuana is physically non-addictive, unlike its nasty cousin nicotine), and minimal physical side effects (mostly junk food); why would any team doctor not be in favor of this? Cheaper and safer than painkillers, anti-depressants, and sleeping pills (all of which are unfortunately, commonly prescribed to professional athletes). And I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t make for a safer (and better) party alternative to alcohol (also a common inebriant for our athletes), and look ma no hangover! 

But I regress, I’m not the type to attempt to sway voters in any political aspect, I am first and foremost a believer in freedom of choice, and doing what needs to be done to keep the peace and overall well-being of humanity; I don’t do peer pressure, I do what makes sense. In other words, I don’t like to touch politics with a Willie Mitchell sized stick. But like about half California right now, I like to be a progressive thinker, even when it comes to the small-ish but ever important pieces of my life (hockey). Here’s something potentially “game” changing that all forward-thinking hockey fans, players, management and staff alike can get behind, at least a little; something Big Stick Willie and his post-concussion syndrome can certainly get down with. 

Or perhaps it’s just me, and my bucket list goal of some day burning one (legally) with Jeremy Roenick. And that’s a dream that any good-time hockey fan can relate to. Those fans know what I’m talking about, like they know how Don Cherry (and his wardrobe) make complete sense from the “other side”… really, try it sometime.

Support progress, in hockey and in life.

Now puff, puff, pass that shit like Joe Thornton.


(Images- Lauren Belfoy, CBC.ca)


  1. This is literally the one thing on the ballot this year that I actually care about. My choices for governor and senate might be just terrible, but at least there's finally a proposition that makes some sense!

  2. Though the point is moot for the moment (still softly crying to myself), I love that you found a way to combine two of life's most enjoyable pasttimes into one pertinent article.

    Though I'm not so sure about toking with Roenick... I don't want to be responsible for the comments that would fly out of my mouth with inhibition dissipated in a milky cloud... not that I have much of a filter in the place.

  3. That's EXACTLY the reason I want to burn a J with JR.

  4. Well then with that information, I support your decision.

    Puff, puff, give me back my $5 million, pass.

  5. BBtheBeaut and I would like to collect a fee for using a family members portrait.-KT G


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