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Cory Juneau Is the First Olympic Skateboarder to Be Suspended for Weed

Cory Juneau has been suspended for smoking weed, but should cannabis really fall under the same anti-doping policy as performance-enhancing drugs?

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Cory Juneau
PHOTO | The Boardr
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There’s been a long-standing stereotype that skateboarders are huge potheads, and while this might actually be true for some, others take the sport incredibly seriously and treat it just like any other profession. Now that skateboarding has become a part of the Olympics, starting in Tokyo in 2020, it’s causing those who aspire for greatness to evaluate if their recreational habits can go by the wayside.

Unfortunately for Cory Juneau, a 19-year-old athlete from Southern California, the ramifications of the organization’s anti-drug policy were felt first-hand. Juneau is ranked seventh in the world and has been preparing for Tokyo for years. Recent drug testing found THC in his system, and he was instantly met with disciplinary action from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Zero Tolerance

Just like any other drug, the Olympics views cannabis as an illegal substance. Even individuals who rely on medical marijuana need to go through several hoops to ensure they aren’t disqualified before a competition, as the USADA takes a firm stance on drug test results. During an event in Brazil in January 2018, Juneau tested positive for THC in his urine. The case was handed over to the USADA and he was punished with a six-month suspension. It was later reduced to three months, and in April 2018 he was reinstated.

However, this time on the sidelines wasn’t the only issue that Cory had to deal with. All competitive results, including points, prizes, and medals he’s accumulated prior to the violation, were revoked, leaving him with little to show for his hard work and dedication. He completed an anti-doping education program as well, which in part made him eligible for a reduced suspension.

 

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Is Suspension Too Harsh?

The reasoning behind the anti-doping policy certainly makes sense, as some drugs can dramatically affect physical performance and thus place some competitors at an advantage. Leveling the playing field isn’t a tall order to fill, but should cannabis really fall under the same category?

A common perception of skateboarders is that they smoke weed, and some may skate better while high, but that may not necessarily be the same as juicing for enhanced strength or skill.

So will that part of skateboarding culture be forced to change now that it is an Olympic sport?

Juneau’s suspension is the first of its kind for Olympic skateboarding, and while it does show a precedent of no tolerance, some are questioning if the ruling is too harsh. The debate about if cannabis should be considered a drug has gone on for a long time, and people on each side of the issue are very passionate about their stance. Given that medical marijuana is legal in most of the United States, it’s unclear why athletes can’t use it to help treat chronic conditions.

For the time being, anyone competing in Olympic events will no doubt be keeping their cannabis usage to a minimum, if at all. Whether the USADA chooses to loosen up their regulations to allow for medical situations will remain to be seen, but as the rest of the United States begins to slowly accept cannabis more and more, it may behoove them to catch up with the rest of the general public’s attitudes.

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Ricky Williams Will Be Sparking Greatness With His Highsman x Jeeter Collab on Super Bowl Sunday

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Highsman x Jeeter

Ricky Williams made it possible for a generation of athletes to successfully challenge the NFL’s draconian prohibition of cannabis. The Heisman Trophy winner and former running back changed the perception of cannabis in the NFL, bringing in a new era in which the league has stopped drug testing players for cannabis. This paved the way for the league to recently donate $1 million to research how the plant’s medicinal properties could actually help players deal with pain and provide neuroprotection from concussion.

Williams credits smoking cannabis as a way of overcoming the challenges associated with being a professional athlete, from social anxiety to physical injuries. Since retiring from football, Williams has studied herbalism and alternative holistic therapies, intertwined with the healing properties of cannabis. His first line of cannabis wellness products, Real Wellness fused cannabis with herbal extracts like lavender and turmeric.

In 2021, Williams released his new venture, Highsman, a cannabis lifestyle brand “created to empower professional and everyday athletes as well as sports enthusiasts alike.” And a great play on words, too.

Ricky Williams in the Highsman grow room. PHOTO | Supplied

Highsman is an appreciation for greatness and an appreciation for cannabis. When I started experimenting with it recreationally, I became very reflective and a lot of the time the things I was reflecting on didn’t feel good to me. But through that inner reflection, I started making changes in myself– I realized that there was more to me than just being a football player, and it created an urge to start developing those other sides of myself. It was, and still is, my appreciation for cannabis that helped me to realize my potential for greatness outside the game of football. 

Highsman features three curated by Williams to compliment moments in the day and put you in the zone. Pre-Game is a Sativa for an energized boost; Half-Time is a hybrid for focused awareness, and the Post-Game Indica offers a relaxed mood.

Just in time for Super Bowl LVI, Highsman has teamed up with Jeeter, the number one cannabis pre-roll brand in the country, on a limited-edition run of cannabis and apparel products.

Cannabis Aficionado caught up with Williams for a quick huddle to find out what the iconic athlete will be doing this Super Bowl Sunday.

The Highsman x Jeeter collab. PHOTO | Supplied

CA: What brought on your partnership with Jeeter?

We partnered with Jeeter because they are a brand at the top of their game. Their dedication to greatness makes them an ideal partner for Highsman. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, aside from Highsman, Jeeter is one of my top choices when I visit the dispensary.

Where are you watching the Superbowl and who with?

I am watching the Superbowl at the Jeeter house in LA with Jeeter co-founders Sebastian Solano and Lukasz Tracz, and the amazing Highsman team including CEO Eric Hammond and Marketing Director Lane Radbill.  

What are you smoking?

Sticky Ricky from the Highsman x Jeeter collab!

What are you eating and drinking?

I eat light pregame… a fruit smoothie, yogurt, assorted fruit, and a little honey.

What were your pre-game rituals?

I had a whole meditation routine. 12 sun salutations, pranayama, twin hearts meditation (heart-opening meditation), and then off to the stadium.

Who do you think will win Superbowl LVI?

I’m just hoping for a good game, but I picked the Rams to win in the Highsman bracket challenge, so I’m going to root for the home team.

Merch from the Highsman x Jeeter collab. PHOTO | Supplied

Find your nearest Highsman x Jeeter stockist here.

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Sports

Tom Brady Is Officially Retiring from the NFL

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Tom Brady Retires

Tom Brady has announced his retirement from the NFL, writing on Instagram on Tuesday that he is “not going to make that competitive commitment anymore.”

“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady said in his statement on Instagram. “There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.

“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”

Brady’s announcement comes three days after it was originally reported that he would be hanging up his illustrious cleats. Brady had yet to officially commit one way or the other, insisting on “going through the process” during his most recent appearance on his podcast. The outcome of that process was announced on Tuesday.

The legendary sportsman retires after an astounding 22 NFL seasons, 20 with the Patriots and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which he had the most individual success of any player in NFL history. Tom Brady was a 15-time Pro Bowler, three-time AP MVP, three-time first-team All-Pro, and the all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and quarterback victories.

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High Fighting: Jiu-Jitsu Meets Cannabis

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PHOTO | High Rollerz

The relationship between recreational marijuana and sports has historically been contentious, and MMA leagues in the United States are no exception. Because of how long weed lingers in the bloodstream, many fighters who follow the rule of not smoking during competitive periods nonetheless test positive. Superstar UFC athletes who have tested positive for marijuana (like Nick Diaz) have faced harsh penalties, including fines and even suspensions or bans from competition, thanks to this law.

High Rollerz co-founders Matt Staudt and Big Lonn Howard have chosen to put together a cannabis-infused jiu-jitsu tournament where some of the sport’s elite athletes get high with their opponent before competing – and where the winner’s grand prise is a pound of pot.

Peep the Vice documentary below.

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