Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Olympics take it easier on marijuana

Posted By on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM

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Al Jazeera America brings the interesting tale from Sochi today that while marijuana is banned during the Olympics, those who partake of it outside the Games have less to worry about. Last May, the World Anti-Doping Agency increased the threshold for athletes to test outside the limits to 150 nanograms per milliliter of blood.

For the record, Colorado's recently passed THC-DUI law lists the limit at 5 nanongrams, which most activists say is way too low, especially for a regular user whose blood may reflect past usage at much higher levels.

Anyway, our kick-ass state is part of that reason, Al Jazeera says.

"Colorado and Washington having legalized the drug altogether, and some 20 states, plus Washington, D.C., allow medical marijuana use," writes Aimee Berg. "Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize it, and Mexico City is mulling a pair of bills to decriminalize pot. And while weed remains illegal in the U.S., Barack Obama’s administration issued rules this month allowing banks to do business with state-licensed marijuana companies — something they had been wary of for fear of breaking federal law."

The story then goes on to talk to 19-year-old figure skater and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs student Jason Brown, whose coach commented on all those green crosses out there.
“I’ve never done it. I don’t think anyone should do it. I’m for clean play,” [Brown] said. “But if the (new threshold) makes it more fair, then I’m totally in support. It’s just not my lifestyle to take it or be around it.”

“It’s interesting for us, though, having moved from Chicago to Colorado, where there’s a green cross on every building,” said Brown’s coach Korie Ade, referring to dispensaries.

“My parents were hippies. My dad grows it,” Ade said. “But I can’t really see why anyone needs it for athletic purposes. If you can’t take a Sudafed if you get a cold, then you shouldn’t be smoking.”
Turns out the reason that it's banned during competition is that it violates two of the three available-for-wide-interpretation guidelines used by the International Olympic Committee: it's harmful to health and against the spirit of the sport.

It might even violate the third — performance enhancing — if you believe a 2012 story from Popular Science, when the magazine was writing about American judoist Nicholas Delpopolo, who says he "accidentally ate a pot brownie."

"It violates the first (performance enhancement) because of its ability to decrease anxiety and fear," wrote Rob Trump at the time, "and potentially to improve some types of oxygenation and concentration."

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