Drugs and sports doping
I'm going to set aside my usual snarky attitude and speak seriously for a moment.
Right at the outset, believe me when I say that using performance enhancing drugs to gain a competitive edge is wrong. Those who cheat richly deserve the punishment when they're caught.
Now consider Olympic medalist Michael Phelps and a photo of a bong hit. In a strictly legalistic sense, there's no real evidence of drug use because there's no knowing what the bong contained. Yet he's lost income as a result of the photo. And honestly, folks, is anyone trying to claim that marijuana is a performance enhancing drug? It may be if you're engaged in competitive eating, but other than that probably not.
Our society has taken an almost schizophrenic approach to drug enforcement when it comes to marijuana. Our draconian laws forbid even using it for medical research. So there may be legitimate uses for marijuana, but we'll never know.
Consider the common analgesic - aspirin - which came originally from willow bark. It has obvious benefits, yet if we'd choked off all chemical investigations of willow bark, we wouldn't have aspirin.
Ultimately, Phelps is paying the price for our society's goofy attitude toward illegal drugs. We use all sorts of legal drugs meant to calm us down, make us sleep, give us better attention spans, or provide long lasting stiffies. Yet the illegal ones - whose effects may have genuine benefits rivaling those legal drugs - bring out hypocritical outrage when some high profile person uses them. It's time we set aside the hype and political posturing, and do some unbiased clinical investigation of marijuana use.
Performance benefit? Only if you're eating handfuls of Cheetos and drowning in Pepsi.