L ike everyone at The Stranger, I'm excited about the Seahawks. And now that our hometown boys are Super Bowl champions, and our state has legalized pot, it is time to demand that professional sports leagues stop punishing players who consume cannabis. Here are five reasons why:
1. We named our mascots after pot.
The Seahawks have two mascots, both of which have marijuana-related names. The first, a live hawk, is named Taima, which is the Japanese word for cannabis. No joke. Our other mascot, a dude in a giant cartoony hawk costume, is named Blitz—as in "I got Blitzed flying high on the Taima."
2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.
Some may tire of the alcohol-to-marijuana comparison, but it remains true: Pot is far gentler on the body and mind than alcohol. Yet the NFL earns millions promoting alcohol despite the fact that it damages the body, depresses the mind, promotes poor judgment, and can increase violence.
3. It would stop derailing careers.
NFL players and coaches repeatedly estimate that half of all active players consume cannabis. Last November, the NFL suspended Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond for a positive marijuana test, and teammate Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely for allegedly missing a drug test. But nobody thinks cannabis is a "performance-enhancing drug." All NFL players should be allowed to get high when they're in states where pot is legal.
4. Cannabis may actually help brain injuries.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced last month that the NFL might consider allowing medical cannabis if it helps with concussions—a scandalous problem in football. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll smartly suggested last week that the league should stop stigmatizing cannabis and follow the medical science. And medical science clearly shows pot can help manage pain, while also suggesting that it can help with brain injuries.
5. Richard Sherman needs to calm the fuck down.
Football players have tons of testosterone coursing through their veins, and they have a hard time coming down. Marijuana can help. Maybe if we let Sherman smoke a bit of weed, his postgame interviews would resemble existentialist philosophy rather than rage-fueled pro-wrestling banter.