Dallas Mavericks small forward Josh Howard admitted to recreational pot use yesterday on a sports radio program. Josh has never failed any league drug tests. He simply chooses to use marijuana in the off season instead of the drugs approved by the NBA, DEA, and State of Texas- namely alcohol and nicotine. Here is a quote from Mr. Howard.
“What can I say? If you can do it and it’s not affecting your everyday life, why stop? If I’m able to do it, but not while I play basketball, it lets you know I can quit whenever.”
Owner Mark Cuban and Coach Avery Johnson both expressed regret at Howard’s announcement. Mr. Cuban stated this “will be dealt with” in the offseason.
My question is- exactly what should be dealt with? Josh’s crime seems to be being honest and showing no remorse over using marijuana.
Instead of silencing honesty we should use this opportunity to expose the common government lies about marijuana. The ONDCP ad “Pete’s Couch” is a great example. Pot smokers are supposed to sit around all day doing nothing. Somehow, stoner Josh scored 18 points last night to help defeat the Hornets.
Marijuana abuse is associated with many detrimental health effects. These effects can include frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks and tolerance. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, a heightened risk of lung infections, and a greater tendency toward obstructed airways.
Does any of that sound like the Maverick’s starting small forward? Some could argue that Josh’s struggles with new point guard Jason Kidd are a sign of mental impairment, but I digress.Here are Josh Howard’s career stats. Despite ONDCP’s terrible list of pot related problems Josh has managed to average 15 points and 6 boards a game for 5 years.
Josh is a professional athlete with access to the latest nutritional, health, and sports medicine information. Josh would not risk his body, or his $9M annual salary just to get high. If marijuana was as dangerous as the federal government claims no professional athlete would touch it. The truth is- many professional athletes get high because marijuana can be used safely and responsibly.
I wish more professional athletes had the honesty and courage of Josh Howard. There is no danger when Josh Howard gets high. There is no reason to arrest Josh or make him apologize to the public. It will be a better day when all Americans can use marijuana responsibly without fear of arrest.