When you think of marijuana users, athletes must probably be furthest from your mind. After all, high-performance athletes don’t fit the stoner stereotype.
But the participants of this year’s 420 Games in San Francisco seeks to challenge this stereotype as they embarked early on a 4.2-mile race last August 15—but not before smoking pot first. The race and the accompanying events all aim to change the common perceptions about weed and the people who use it, as the stigma remains pervasive despite recent marijuana legalizations. In California, advocates are working hard to put marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot, even though the idea was rejected last 2010.
Some of the participants included retired athletes, many of whom claimed that marijuana has helped them cope with painful injuries.
“There is a lot of wear and tear playing football and fighting professionally,” said Kyle Kingsbury, a retired mixed martial arts fighter, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. “But pain management is something everyone in the world has to deal with, not just me.”
Dominic Rea echoes Kingsbury’s sentiments. Though he wasn’t able to participate in the race because of a roller skating accident that broke his leg bones, he uses marijuana to ease the pain.
What other activities can help fight marijuana stigma? Voice your opinions in the comments section below – your opinion matters to the nation.