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Jordan Schafer was just ahead of his time, man

Dec 30, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

Jordan Schafer AP

Lots of hand wringing when Astros’ center fielder Jordan Schafer was arrested with marijuana a couple of months ago. However, Courtland Milloy’s column in the Washington Post — passing along the results of a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine — may show that it wasn’t all bad, man:

“Athletes under the influence of cannabis indicate that their thoughts flow more easily and their decision making and creativity is enhanced,” the researchers wrote. “Health professionals have encountered athletes including gymnasts, divers, football players and basketball players who claim smoking cannabis before play helps them focus better.”

But, they concluded, “Much additional research is needed to determine the effects of cannabis on athletic performance.”

Personally, I’d still keep marijuana banned for pro athletes.  Not because of the drug itself. It’s way less harmful than alcohol and tobacco and we have no problem with ballplayers using that stuff.  Rather, I’d ban it because it leads to stuff like increased Taco Bell consumption and late nights watching “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” and that stuff is just horrible for one’s conditioning.

  1. cur68 - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Improves your over all vision, especially night vision, too. So, guys with horrible splits in day vs night games might smoke up a bit and we could examine their performance change? Perhaps Josh Hamilton… er, never mind.

    • Old Gator - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      I wouldn’t have thought of marijuana as a performance enhancing drug in the ambulatory position. Its value for horizontal performance, of course, has been well known for centuries.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        Gator. There you go again. No one said anything about Ambulances.

  2. frankenderek - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    It may help focus and all that, but reaction times are way slower. As a virtual ballplayer (and a damn good one at that) I can tell you hand eye coordination is affected stoned compared to being sober. However, pitchers should be high all the time, cough Dock Ellis, cough.

  3. trevorb06 - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    “Rather, I’d ban it because it leads to stuff like increased Taco Bell consumption and late nights watching “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” and that stuff is just horrible for one’s conditioning.”
    -Craig, you’re not speaking from experience are you?

  4. stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    How ironic Craig. I am eating Taco Bell RIGHT NOW.

  5. dluxxx - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Awe bummer, man! I struck out again…

  6. stex52 - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    I’m not completely comforted by arguments, Craig. So far the trade of CF’s with Atlanta looks pretty one-sided.

  7. Kyle - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    I’ve known a golfer or two in my day who found weed to help out with focus and on the greens, and some city league basketball players who were just showing off, but you’re way too reliant on precise reaction in professional sports for this to really be serious. LSD, on the other hand, will help yo throw no-hitters. Take notes, kids!

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Right there with you Kyle. I know plenty of Golfers and competitive Basketball and Softball players who partake in the herb prior to playing. I am talking to the point of being totally pie-eyed.
      Is this news to people?

    • Old Gator - Dec 30, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Kyle -

      No clip has been posted more often on this site than the great Ellis on Acid clip, but thank you anyway because it never gets old.

      Now, I invite you to imagine that Doc is pitching for the Feesh and tripping his ass off in the fourth inning at Macondo Banana Massacre Stadium, surrenders a dinger to Emilio Bonifacio (look, this whole premise is ridiculous so why not Emilio?), then turns around to watch it drop behind the centerfield fence and then: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/red-grooms-miami-marlins_n_1121076.html

      Come on now. Wouldn’t you love to be there?

      • Kyle - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Gator – Indeed, I watch the Ellis video as often as I can justify it. And wow, your fantastic premise is really something I can get behind. Amazing! If I were just a bit smarter and could figure how to work this computer better, I’d be creating a .gif mashing those two together as we speak.

  8. hotkarlsandwich - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Pot really seemed to help Ricky Williams in the NFL.

    • Old Gator - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:04 PM

      But ganja helped him more in India.

  9. dondada10 - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    I’m a high school basketball head coach and I just got done winning a tough game in which I was stoned. I’m on vacation from work (I’m a teacher) and have had 3 games already during the break. I was stoned all 3 and we’re undefeated. Small sample size, certainly, but I see the game so much clearer when “high.”

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Dondada10: Shhhhh! People don’t realize the ganja is so prevelant. Let’s keep our heads buried in the sand….continue to build more prisons…and incarcerate people for smoking a freaking plant. A plant! A plant that requires ZERO manufacturing. You simply pluck it out of the ground like a tomato plant, potato plant, or any number of other things. But man we are gonna rid this country of that dreaded Marijuana.
      Cause’ after all…it is a “gateway drug.” Like Alcohol and Tobacco.

    • jackkoho - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      great example you’re setting for your athletes, there.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:28 PM

        Jack: Unless he is partaking with his student athletes…your post doesn’t apply.
        It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly naive people are. I know “professionals” who smoke daily and you would have NO idea whatsoever. Again…I am referring to professional people. Business Managers, Lawyers, Accountants, etc… Not your stereotypical “wake and bake” stoners in their 20′s. People who are gainfully employed making over Six figures a year.

  10. jackkoho - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Let’s not forget the wonder’s marijuana does for your motivation and work ethic and not to mention the other more dangerous drugs it can lead to.

    But I forgot, this is an NBC blog, so whatever, legalize it.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:33 PM

      Jack: I will agree with your motivation and work ethic comment. If allowed to…Marijuana can certainly breed laziness. But again…if you let it. Meaning…if you sit around the house all day smoking and drinking as fast as your cotton mouth allows you to. But these are the stereotypical stoners in their 20′s I was referring to in the previous post.
      As for it leading to more dangerous drugs….horseshit.
      Certainly no more than Alcohol and Tobacco.
      We all have decisions to make no matter the vice of choice.
      As mentioned previously….
      Let’s keep our heads buried in the sand….continue to build more prisons…and incarcerate people for smoking a freaking plant. A plant! A plant that requires ZERO manufacturing. You simply pluck it out of the ground like a tomato plant, potato plant, or any number of other things. But man we are gonna rid this country of that dreaded Marijuana.

      • jackkoho - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:53 PM

        Cocaine comes from plants, too, but its worse just because it requires purification? I don’t get the argument.

        There’s a reason theres a stereotype about stoners that sit around all day smoking weed in their 20′s… its because thats what happens to alot of people that start smoking weed in their teens. I’ve seen it myself. And maybe you haven’t been around the same people that I have, but I’ve certainly seen it lead to more dangerous drugs. Cocaine, heroin, you name it. Those people started with marijauna and went looking for a greater high.

        Alot of liberals in their 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s like to talk about how weed isn’t that bad and it should be legalized and all that, but when it comes down to it, if you ask them, would they want their kids smoking weed, the answer most likely is going to be no.

        If you’re trying to justify your behavior, or your friends behavior, or you’re mad at the government for cracking down, I guess I get that, but at the end of the day I don’t see how you can come out and say that this stuff is good for people overall.

      • jackkoho - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:56 PM

        I’m not saying that it can’t be fun and that those benefits might not outweigh the risks that I’ve laid out for some people, but for me, not so much.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 6:04 PM

        Jack: The argument is the other things require manufacturing. In your words “purification.” Tomato Plants…no. Potato Plants…no. Marijuana plants…no. Alcohol and Tobacco…YES.
        So…from where I sit Alcohol and Tobacco are far worse. Remove Alchohol and Tobacco from the equation all together. Meth, Heroin, Cocaine and the like ALL require Manufacturing. In other words…you simply do not find people growing cocoa plants and plucking the leaves and eating and/or sucking on them. Unless of course they are natives.
        The harsher (for more dangerous things) require manufacturing or “purification.”
        A Marijuana plant simply grows in the ground and you pluck it.
        Personally, I feel it is a moral decision each person has to make.
        And we haven’t even discussed the reprhensible act of legislating morals.
        Which is precisely what we are doing with the current Marijuana laws.
        Quite simply…it is NOT the Governments job to legislate morals.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 30, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      Jack: First I want to qualify something. I am a conservative. I haven’t voted Democrat since Clinton (did vote for him twice though). Please refer to my previous “legislating morals” comment. That should provide a little insight as to how I lean.
      Legalize it. Tax it. Sell it in Liquor Stores. Treat it no differently than Alcohol.
      Yep…you heard it here. A conservative openly stating to tax something.
      But in this case…it is a “sin tax” no different than Alcohol (which is much…much worse than Marijuana in my opinion). Big Macs, Mountain Dew, Almond Joys, etc… are also bad for us.
      Less make them illegal while we are at it. I now many…many conservatives who feel exactly like I do with regards to the ridiculously antiquated Marijuana laws we have on the books.
      Yeah…just build more prisons. The problem will go away. Much like prohibition.
      Which brings me to another point. Who benefited the most during prohibition?
      Rethorical question: Al Capone and all the other gangsters benfefited the most.
      They opened speak easy’s and raked in the cash.
      Legalize it. Tax it. Sell it in Liquor Stores. Treat it no differently than Alcohol.

  11. southcapitolstreet - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Enhanced focus and decision-making? Not so much, in my experience. Enhanced paranoia and uncontrollable giggling? Definitely. Which doesn’t help you hit the breaking ball.

  12. JBerardi - Dec 30, 2011 at 8:40 PM

  13. lostsok - Dec 30, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    The great Todd Snider’s Doc Ellis song:

  14. JBerardi - Dec 30, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    I can’t speak to the issue of marijuana making one better at baseball. I have, however, done a great deal of research in related fields and what I can tell you for sure is that marijuana enhances your ability to watch sports in general and baseball in particular.

  15. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    I will miss you all during my January in Jamaica – or probably just be surprised at how much I enjoy HBT when I get back. Maybe I’ll catch a cricket match when I’m down there.

  16. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    From ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’

    Kumar: No can do man. I have to stay here and smoke this weed, otherwise I won’t get high.

  17. ericweedhub - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Despite the different opinions about using medicinal cannabis for treatment.Medical uses for marijuana can be proven by people with serious ailments and can testify that it relieved them from the painful and debilitating symptoms and provide them a functional life.

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