There is a drumbeat running through our culture. We have a chance to stop the catastrophic “war on drugs.” For the sake of discussion let’s allow that the goals of the “war on drugs” were worthwhile goals — no one should lose their way in life lost in a drug haze. It’s not such a great life. But, even allowing all that, it is time to admit that the tactics we chose to achieve those goal, failed. We need to switch tactics, at a minimum. That’s simply what we are asking. I say change is close. My evidence: in a baseball blog we find truth about the war on drugs. Look at how deeply the truth has penetrated into our society and culture. The foundation is laid, and continues to be laid, for change.
The full story is on Dayn Perry’s blog. Perry is a baseball blogger, and the story is about a baseball player named Tim Beckham. More specifically, the story is Beckham’s use of marijuana. I am going to pull Beckham out of the story:
“[A] grown man, has tested positive for a substance that is orders of magnitude less harmful, both to the physical and emotional self and to the society about us, than, say, the culturally sanctioned drug of alcohol. Simply put, the word “drugs” in this context is at once too encompassing of a rubric (marijuana is classed alongside heroin, for instance) and too conveniently circumscribed (alcohol and nicotine are acceptable, while marijuana is some kind of social menace). To put a finer point on it, he’s tested positive for a substance that, were he [playing major league baseball] would carry no penalty whatsoever.
So assume that [player] has indeed used marijuana, and then assume that he’s able to moderate that usage. How is what he did any more condemnable than, say, throwing back a few cans of domestic swill in the clubhouse? It’s certainly far less of a moral affront than getting a DUI in spring training, which, lest you forget, carries no penalty as far as MLB is concerned.
All of this “Reefer Madness”-style hysteria, of course, has led to a federal policy toward marijuana that’s an inexcusable encroachment upon basic freedoms (why shouldn’t adults be able to smoke a plant in their own homes without fear of arrest and prosecution?) and a colossal waste of law-enforcement dollars and resources.
There is, of course, a depressingly banal public-relations dynamic to all of this. No league, after all, wants to be seen as coddling “drug users,” but the entire dynamic could stand a bit of nuance. (A toke from the “objective pipe,” if you will.) Partaking of marijuana, if done in moderation and while not operating anything with wheels and-or internal-combustion engine, is not some grave moral failing. It’s also not enough make [player] a bad guy or a ballplayer who’s derelict in his professional obligations.
Just because policies toward marijuana — legal, league or otherwise — are borne of ignorance doesn’t mean our opinions must be. So, yes, we should care about this. We should care that these ridiculous protocols and snap judgments remain too much with us.
In a baseball blog, in story about whether marijuana use matters in a baseball players’ performance, we can see that people, everywhere, continue to see through the lie that is the war on drugs, especially as it impacts cannabis. If ever there was a time to keep applying pressure it is now. Enjoy the ride as we cross the tipping point.
[image: Google images drumbeat]
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