Marijuana and Athleticism

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"Marijuana and Athleticism"

By Brian Beutler

Ta-Nehisi Coates and Andrew Sullivan shed tears for Michael Phelps. Andrew writes:

this absurd ritual takes place in which Phelps has to pretend he did something dreadful and we all have to tut-tut and frown and furrow our brows, and the sponsors cluck and the press preens – while the only conceivable news is that a 23 year-old had a good time at a party, breaking no professional rules since he was not competing when he was goofing off.

And, seriously, does anyone think that smoking pot would give him an unfair advantage in the pool?

Some, um, friends… of mine have taken Andrew’s point further, arguing that Phelps’ pot use proves that it’s perfectly possible to smoke pot and succeed in life, and that, if anything, Phelps’s little habit makes his athletic achievements all the more impressive. Like the Dutch and their multilingualism.

I’ve refrained from commenting on this scandalette, both because I don’t really care, and because Phelps makes my Huge D-Bag Detector go haywire. If anything, though, I think the evidence demonstrates a strong correlation between marijuana use and gold medal athleticism. Which obviously has little to do with the fact that Olympic athletes tend to be young adults and suggests instead that the munchies-and-giggles drug has a hidden steroid effect.

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