by Patrick Appel
A reader quotes Ossian Shine:
While it is generally accepted that cannabis is unlikely to give athletes a performance advantage in fast-paced sports, some experts say it could prove helpful in sports like shooting or golf where a steady hand is needed.
I suspect those "experts" (if they even exist) were stoned when they opined that marijauna can help in non "fast paced" sports. Shooting requires intense focus and concentration at the Olympic level. Marijauna does not give any athlete a "steady hand" the way propranolol does and there is no way that a shooter would be safe on the line if under the influence. I suspect the same is true of golf, sailing and equestrian, sports in which drugs like propranolol are forbidden.
Just for the record, I was the US Shooting Team physician in 1980-1984 (it was called something else then) and these issues were discussed extensively at that time although alcohol and beta blockers were the main culprits. It turns out that these substances decrease the desire to win and certainly affect the ability of the shooter to react and make instant decisions – crucial aspects of any type of competitive shooting.
So where does MJ fit in the reason for banning in international sport? Probably in the "harmful to the athlete" section, but that could include almost any drug including aspirin which can cause all sorts of problem in some people.