The NHL's Cool with Cannabis
The old joke in previous generations went that taking a swig of booze was for medicinal purposes only.
After the hypocrisy of Prohibition in the USA, alcohol took its place in modern society as a legal, controlled substance.
The only lingering effects were the Amendments that will forever serve as a stain on the Constitution, warning against the folly of knee-jerk populism.
And where did all those funds the USA government budgeted for cushy political appointments to enforce Prohibition go?
Conveniently, to an obscure law used to control the minority immigrant population.
Ironically, much of that budget was used to publicize the perils of a substance most of the nation never knew existed.
Clearly, fake news promoting nonsensical policy is not a new phenomenon. Fortunately, it gets exposed sooner or later.
As a result, marijuana usage is either legal or non-criminal -- ie- personal amounts don't get prosecuted -- in many regions of North America. That includes the entire Great White North and select parts of the USA.
The NHL's been in the forefront of reflecting social change for a while, now. It's had a nod-&-wink attitude toward cannabis that's morphed into acknowledging its presence in drug tests but not imposing penalties.
Thus, it's not a banned substance anymore. If a player has abnormally high levels of THC, league physicians will flag it and recommend treatment. But again, there's no punishment, and neither the NHL nor the NHLPA needs to know about it.
What's encouraging is the NHL and NHLPA have joined together to take a hard look at marijuana for medicinal purposes.
It's an open secret that marijuana use is one way hockey players deal with pain. It's only logical -- not to mention responsible -- that the NHL's decided to take a methodical approach to researching and analyzing its benefits and side effects.
The irony is, after nearly a century, society is returning to marijuana's original pitch:
In other sports news, Dallas Cowboys DT David Irving -- suspended in 2017 and 2018 for substance abuse -- decided it's time to hang up the cleats and announced it while smoking a joint to make his point.
Dude shoulda chosen hockey.