Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Anti-Drug Agency Classifies Pot as "Performance Enhancer"

When you think of performance enhancing drugs, the usual suspects of steroids and growth hormones come to mind.

But as fans who just watched the Olympics learned, pot is also considered a performance enhancer according to the powers that be at the Olympics. American competitor Nick Delpopolo was ejected from the games for "doping" with a marijuana-laced brownie.

Questions were raised as to why cannabis is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited drugs. According to WADA, a substance needs to fulfill two of three criteria to be placed on the banned list: be performance enhancing, be a potential health risk or go against the spirit of sport

Popular Science reports marijuana violates all three of those criteria. The drug minimizes anxiety and fear, as well as improves oxygenation and concentration. It also causes a risk to pulmonary functions and decreases cognitive performance. It also meets the final criteria of going against the spirit of the sport by with its near-universal illegality as well as conflicting with the "role model of athletes in modern society," and "negative reactions by the public, sponsors, and the media."

While there's an argument for the first two, the last reason seem suspiciously subjective, and seems to be more for PR and ensure lucrative sponsorships keep on rolling in.

But money has absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics, does it? (Yes it does.)

Strangely, the WADA prohibition also acknowledges there is an actual medicinal use for pot — which the U.S. government refuses to recognize.

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