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Meet the Pioneers of the Olympic Weed Scene

As long as athletes don’t show up stoned at competition, it’s all good, right?

by Michael Geslani

This year’s Olympic games has been more stressful than most amid  athletes dropping out over concerns of Zika virus and Russia’s doping scandal that has banned some of their competitors.

Performance enhancing drug-related scandals have plagued the Olympics for decades. Marijuana, on the other hand, has been know to help with pain relief but have no added effect to an athlete's performance. Like cocaine and heroin, cannabis is banned during competition by WADA, which oversees drug testing worldwide in Olympic sports.  However, the WADA recently amended its rules on cannabis, raising the threshold for a positive test from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng/ml. So unless you are reeking of bud as you arrive blurry eyed to compete, you should be good.

So let’s light one up in honor of the original stoners of the Olympic games.

Michael Phelps


A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

With so many Olympic gold medals, Michael Phelps is hands down the most decorated Olympian of all time but that doesn’t make the speed swimmer perfect. In 2009 after winning a record eight Olympic gold medals Phelps was photographed (before smartphones) using a water pipe aka bong. Phelps later admitted the photo was taken at a University of South Carolina party and apologized for his behavior publicly.

He was later suspended by the USA Swimming organization for three months and lost a major sponsorship with Kellogg. These days it seems Phelps has traded in his bong ripping days to focus on his new wife, baby and hoping to add some more gold to his collection while in Rio.

Usain Bolt


A photo posted by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on

The fastest man alive used to smoke ganja when he was a lot younger, but once his running career took off he traded in the bud for the track he said in an interview with German newspaper Bild. The world record holder in the 100 m and 200 m Bolt has not slowed down and is currently in Rio chasing more gold. While he doesn’t smoke anymore, Bolt has been seen to endorse cannabis culture by posting images of him with a cannabis clothing brand. Both Bolt and Phelps have already confirmed that this will be the last Olympics for them, so be prepared to watch these legends on their way out.

Ross Rebagliati


A photo posted by Ross Rebagliati (@rossrebagliati) on

When the Olympics added snowboarding to the list of sports in 1998, it seems no one anticipated the lifestyle and culture that is synonymous with the sport.That brings us to Ross Rebagliati who was the first ever to win an Olympic gold medal for Men’s Snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Things came crashing down when shortly after the big win, he was found to have 17.8 ng/ml of THC in his blood and was automatically disqualified. Rebagliati claimed that the THC was from second hand smoke at the time. Rebagliati was later given his medals back after a ruling called that marijuana was not on the list of banned substances in 1998, eventually added a year later. In today’s legal weed scene, Rebagliati has since rebounded. The self-proclaimed canna-athlete and marijuana entrepreneur posts freely about the potent plant on Instagram.


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Michael Geslani is a Silicon Valley based writer who graduated from San Jose State University. You can follow him on IG @careerhigh.



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