02-10-2010, 08:43 PM
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Smoke a fatty in Vandy during the Olympics
No one is getting tested postivie for Marijuana use in Vancouver thats for sure
next month's Winter games the Pot Olympics
BY Nathaniel Vinton
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Friday, February 5th 2010, 6:40 PM
APRoss Rebagliati is best known as the Canadian snowboarder who won a gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, then tested positive for marijuana.
How/GettyLouie Vito (above) and another snowboarder, Danny Kass, were also involved in an incident in New Zealand, but the charges were expunged before they went to court. Related NewsGold, silver, bronze … green?
The Winter Games commence Feb. 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the most marijuana-friendly host city in Olympic history, a place where restrictions on pot are loose enough to allow "consumption lounges," some of which are extending their hours to accommodate a wave of jet-lagged international visitors.
What does one smoke at such "coffeeshops?" Perhaps something harvested the summer before from the mountains an hour north, near Whistler, where the Alpine skiing events will take place amidst lush forests that are said to contain crops of remarkable potent strains of cannabis.
But hold on there, Michael Phelps, don't light that Olympic torch yet.
Marijuana's primary psychoactive component, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of substances that are prohibited in competition in Olympic sports. Because it remains detectible long after ingestion, Olympians must steer clear of it for weeks or months ahead of drug testing.
So how's this for absurd? While fans, coaches, sponsors (and yes, members of the media) might be lighting up at the New Amsterdam Cafe or the Vapor Lounge on Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver, the hockey players and figure skaters will be peeing in cups just a few blocks away, hoping they don't fail the whiz quiz.
Let's be blunt: these are the Pot Olympics, where progressive laws and the war on dopers could collide as never before. Some are hoping the conflict will light up some healthy public debate and self-examination for the anti-doping movement. Would you be surprised to hear that Ross Rebagliati is in this crowd?
Rebagliati is best known for testing positive for THC after winning a gold medal for Canada in the giant slalom in snowboarding's first Winter Games in Nagano, Japan in 1998. His medal was revoked, although he won it back after mounting a secondhand-smoke defense.
"The message that the I.O.C. is saying by adding it to the list of performance-enhancing drugs is that marijuana is performance-enhancing," says Rebagliati. "I don't think it's ever been a performance-enhancement, nor has it been portrayed that way."
Now 39 and a father, and planning a run for national office in Canada, Rebagliati has recovered from the psychological trauma of the international scandal he sparked up in Nagano. He recently published a book charting the colorful history of snowboarding, which doubles as a biography. In "Off The Chain, An Insider's History of Snowboarding," Rebagliati writes that he and his fellow competitors avidly smoked dope in the years leading up to Nagano, in part to overcome jet lag. He says he stopped in April of 1997 in order to clean his system for his sport's drug testing program, but was exposed to "clouds of dense, resinous smoke" at some parties he attended in Whistler.
Read more: Progressive laws in Vancouver make next month's Winter games the Pot Olympics