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Monday, June 08, 2009

High Life by Hayes Hemingway

I often see people tweeting on Twitter, a networking site, that they wish they could medicate while at work. Most people's jobs require them to be extremely attentive and focused. Because of weed's relaxing effects I've often felt that being high at work is not a good idea and I still do. Have I been high at work? Of course, because like the majority of us in the world we've all worked jobs we couldn't stand, and being high at work allowed us to stop expending energy being annoyed, that we're at the place that provides us with the money to buy the weed we enjoy so much. Still, I feel like being high at work was not a good idea, personally.

The only time I feel it's okay to medicate at work is when you've already accomplished your tasks for the day. Marijuana has this uncanny ability to work to its maximum strength when the body's accomplished a slate of small achievements.

There are always suggested guidelines and people who choose to do the opposite. On each vial of Marijuana I've purchased it says that Marijuana has drowsy effects and operating heavy machinery is a no-no, yet I know that people drive and smoke. I can't say I've been in an accident that was related to a driver driving stoned, but a lack of evidence doesn't make it acceptable to drive that way.

Unfortunately I've been on both sides of the "high at work" scenario. I once had a manager at a toy store I worked at, who would show up to work and encourage everyone to get high. While I thought this was cool, I knew it wasn't a good idea. It became more apparent with deliveries when he would show up and hand the keys over to seasonal stockroom employees to receive the shipment, while he'd leave to go home and go back to sleep. The stock boys stole so much merchandise and by the time he noticed too much damage had been done. I also recall being at work and being unable to help customers because I was entirely too high. I once got a haircut from a barber I knew was stoned and I definitely paid the price. He chipped me up. On top of that my cut was wack, but I chose to have my haircut done by him because he was available and I was in a hurry. So I feel like that was a bad personal decision on my part more than anything.

Here's an interesting spin on this subject. It's easy for everyone to say "I don't care what you do on your own time, just don't come to work high," but the people getting high outside of work often get crucified for it when they get caught. It really gets taken to a precocious level at times. The shame generated by the media and misguided interest groups alone becomes its own spectacle, much bigger then what actually happened. People simply refuse to believe that certain individuals are better off when they medicate and instead choose to look at the patients through negative sunglasses. It is why these patients often go to great lengths to make sure they're medicated or have medication available, and when they get caught by law enforcement find themselves in a situation so stupid they honestly couldn't have seen it coming. People from all walks of life get arrested for Marijuana possession and distribution on a daily basis, but I really am most fascinated by or I relate to best--the instances involving professional athletes. I honestly can't help but snicker when there's news about an athlete's pot arrest because it's never a dull incident and the way the mind visualizes it gives it an almost Reno 911 re-enactment. It's just that silly.

In the late 1990's sources estimated that some 60% to 70% of the NBA smoked pot. For a time, the offenders all seemed to play in Portland. The Portland Oregonian, in an editorial, referred to two Blazers as Damon "Stashamire" and "Rashweed Wallace." This is why.

In February of 2002 one of Damon Stoudamire's neighbors called the police to say they'd been hearing the alarm in Stoudamire's house for over thirty minutes. When Lake Oswego police officers went to check the house they saw a joint in plain sight and a search later on revealed a pound of marijuana in a crawl space. A judge later declared the search illegal.

On November 22, 2002 Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace made the news when their bright yellow Hummer was pulled over by Washington State Police Sgt. Rob Huss for doing 84 mph in a 70 mph zone. "The trooper got the strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, so he initiated an investigation," said Garvin March, Washington State Patrol spokesman. Huss, with the assistance of a drug-sniffing dog provided by the local police, found less that 40 grams of marijuana in the vehice which was being driven by Edward L. Smith, an associate of Stoudamire's. They were issued misdemeanor tickets and sent on their way.

In July 2003 Stoudamire was attempting to board the Blazers' team plane in Tucson, AZ when he set off the metal detectors at the security checkpoint in the airport. He was trying to get through the metal detectors with an ounce and a half of marijuana wrapped in aluminum foil. He was suspended by the team immediately and fined $250,000.

A few months earlier another Blazer teammate, Qyntel Woods, made a fool of himself in a stupid incident involving Marijuana, on March 29th, 2003. He was pulled over for speeding and he'd been smoking Marijuana. He didn't have a license. He offered the officers his basketball trading card and two credit cards as forms of ID.

Zach Randolph is another Blazer who liked to drive and use substances. Early into his career he was cited for underage drinking and providing underage girls with alcohol. In 2004, in Oregon, he was cited for driving under the influence (there was a strong smell of Marijuana coming from the car) and driving without proof of insurance, even though his car was insured. He was also cited for not having an Oregon license despite having one from Indiana, the state where he's from.

The Blazers' team President at the time, Steve Patterson, didn't say much to make fans feel like he felt Marijuana was a problem. He said, "In all fairness there is a cultural marijuana issue in the United States and in youth culture for the last 40 years in this country. We are also living in a state that has some of the most liberal laws in the country. so we have a considerable mixed message in this whole thing.

None of those players are with the team anymore. While their actions alienated fans, the news of their arrests also didn't help the team image at all. It also tarnished these players, some of whom are portrayed as bad people, but they could be great members of society if they managed their medicating better, whether at work or not.

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