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Apr-28-2010 15:43printcomments

NSML Decries Suspension of UNLV Basketball Player for Adult Marijuana Use

Suspension highlights the way society treats individuals who make the rational choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol.

UNLV basketball player Matt Shaw
UNLV basketball player Matt Shaw

(LAS VEGAS, Nv.) - Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (NSML) is releasing the following statement in the wake of the announcement that University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) basketball player Matt Shaw has been suspended for one year — ending his career with the team — because of one positive test for marijuana.

Shaw, fourth on the team in scoring last year, tested positive during a random drug test administered during the recent NCAA tournament.

“At the age of 22, Matt is an adult,” said Dave Schwartz, NSML campaign manager.

“As an adult, he made a rational decision to use a substance less harmful than alcohol. Now, for this simple act, his career with the Runnin’ Rebels is over. We hope all Nevadans will stop to think about this for just one moment — and think specifically about the fact that players who drink alcohol to excess face no punishment, at least until they assault someone. It simply makes no sense. And for those who say, ‘He should have just followed the rules,’ we say, ‘Why do we have rules and laws that horribly punish people who choose to use marijuana instead of the more harmful substance, alcohol?’ It is time for a change.”


Source: Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, a ballot advocacy group formed in Nevada to support a 2012 ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol in the state.

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Rebel April 30, 2010 4:41 pm (Pacific time)

Nice thought but it was not the high school that gave him the marijuana. Other messed up kids convinced him it was enjoyable. I'm sure you understand that but are merely trying to rationalize and make excuses. You say people don't have their freedom. I can tell you the "freedom" is lost once you get hooked on pot.  My friend, who was also a great athlete and played college football had more regret that he started smoking pot early on than anything else because it led him to other things. He lost control. That's exactly what addictions do. One hit got him hooked. He told me that.  And yes, people do have their agency to follow laws or not. The laws are there to protect, not to enslave. And if somebody CHOOSES to risk their family and jail over their lust for smoking an addictive plant that alters their thinking for pleasure then that's their selfish choice, as foolish as it may be. But don't come whining to all the rest of us about how the laws are unfair once you get caught. Or say it's unfair because you now can't satisfy your addictive craving for these plants. That's the very purpose for having the law setup in the first place--to PREVENT people's dependency on drug use. I mean hell, let's just let 14-year olds smoke tobacco if they want, because it's their right, and it's a plant too, right? I'm sure the tobacco companies would be all in favor.   I can guarantee my younger brother who is a cop has plenty of insight he could share with you about the "problems" with marijuana you work so desperately to disguise and downplay... And spare me, there are millions of more clear-thinking people that claim exactly what I'm saying... thus the law. Dying breed?... I'd say you're the one spewing out the desperate propaganda here.

Editor: So you are clearly for keeping pot illegal, and locking up people who choose to it.  You don't think the laws are wrong, so you want a medal?  You are a rare voice in this day and age, one from long ago that relies on scare tactics and anything imaginable to justify being against a natural plant.  Well, we are never going to be swayed, and I am choosing to include your comments here, but I won't forever because your archaic point of view benefits nobody and our position is to educate, not dumb people down and keep them in the dark.  Here's some advice, tell kids not to smoke pot, but tell them the truth and don't allow them to think it is some evil chemical like meth or any myriad of 'legal' drugs whieh kill tens of thousands of people a year.  Is that a problem in your world?  Do you know who our writer Marianne Skolek is?  Buddy, we fight drug abuse, that is why this pisses me off, we tell the truth about how deadly and dangerous all of these supposedly safe 'legal'  Her daughter Jill died of a respirory failure related to Oxycontin use.  Are you bothering the pharma sites and telling them about how these bozos are killing people left and right?  Do you know that BIG PHARMA is your ally, or are you big pharma?  You characters that don't have the integrity to use so much as a first and last name expect people to listen to you?  You believe you have credibility?  Yeah, I'll bet you work for Purdue Pharma, that would add up.  I think we're done with this conversation.  


DocRebel April 30, 2010 8:00 am (Pacific time)

Propaganda?? Don't think so. I've seen first-hand pot affect people. The fact you're making marijuana use sound like peaches is a lie. Smoking pot kills motivation and is addictive. It guides more people to experiment harder drugs than anything else. I've seen it myself more than once. Disregard the example of my friend as being "weak willed" if you want, but he repeatedly told me and others he spoke out to that had he not gotten hooked on pot in high school (which supposedly is harmless), his life would've taken a different path. And that was about a year before he lost everything.  Have fun spending your life promoting pot smoking. What a great cause your grandchildren can be proud of. Frankly, you seem like the "Poor guy" who struggles to figure out marijuana is not actually needed in the least to live happily and effectively. Back to the original point: Matt Shaw did not need marijuana in his life for any reason other than his addiction, and he knew the rule. So now let's just blame the rule, right? A fine organization you all run...

Editor: This is about personal freedom in a nation that is supposed to be based on it.  Have you considered that if your friend had never attended school, that he would  not have had access to pot, so do we ban schools too? Your 'gateway' theory is no more than theory and simple human behavioral patterns are established by that exact type of propaganda.  Marijuana has never in all of history caused a death, figure it out Doc.  Do try to understand that you are part of a dying breed, the people affected by the stupid joke of a movie "Reefer Madness" which was bankrolled to help criminalize the strongest natural fiber known to man.  You think you have a right to deny all Americans of this 100% natural thing placed on earth by God?  You can go to your grave knowing that you were in favor of locking up people and breaking up families because they smoked a flower, you should be real proud too.  I'll tell you this much, the terrible needless wars started by the anti-marijuana set cause this thing called PTSD, ever heard of it?  For that matter, have you ever been in a combat zone?  I have and I know a lot of people with PTSD and the one and only thing that helps them is marijuana and I'll be damned if I won't fight for their rights.  And yes, as a father, award winning reporter and photographer, former U.S. Marine, combat Photojournalist (Iraq and Afghanistan), I am proud, you're damned right.  

DocRebel April 30, 2010 2:25 am (Pacific time)

Hard to believe but some laws actually are right. Sorry if you're upset that your craving to smoke pot is inconvenienced. And I like how you counter by comparing Hitler's genocide of an entire race to demonstrate why laws preventing drug and alcohol use are also wrong?? Sure, let's legalize marijuana so every kid on the block can get strung out each night. That's great community leadership. Lock your doors everybody since kids (and adults) will now have to break in and steal more than ever just to finance their personal "legalized" drug habits. There's no contradiction in my first line. Obviously Matt Shaw couldn't overcome his desire to smoke marijuana despite the basketball violation and huge risks at stake...a good indication, and merely one more example, that marijuana is far more addictive and troublesome than you and your pot-smoking advocates care to recognize. A friend of mine who committed suicide several years ago, has told me that all of his drug problems (that ruined his life) began when he first started smoking marijuana in high school. So, no thanks.

Editor: Well some people are just weak willed doc, and 'strung out' is a term that applies to drugs, not pot.  Good luck finding your way into the 21st Century there DocRebel.  If you want to know what marijuana does to people, examine Michael Phelps and you just might learn something.  Wive's tales are supposed to be told by ladies aren't they?  I've never heard of a marijuana smoker breaking into a house for their 'habit'.  You poor guy, you are so confused by the 'drug war' propaganda and lies from the police in this country that you honestly don't know one thing from the other.  Marijuana for the record, is a plant that grows in the ground, that is it.  It has endless medical benefits and yes, it gets a person 'high'.  Accept it, people are learning more all of the time, some day very soon the industry will seriously take off and if we can turn our laws around and stop punishing people for something that should be nobody else's business, then we can put the criminals back in prison and let the pot smokers back out,  what a novel idea.  In case you don't know, you are in the halls of the most knowledgable people on earth about this subject.  I would be happy to share, but you have to stop being cynical and knock that programming out of your database.  Good luck.

DocRebel April 29, 2010 5:03 pm (Pacific time)

If marijuana is so harmless and non-addictive than why the need to use it when you know it's illegal and violates team rules? There's a reason and a purpose for the rules. And just because businessmen and alcoholics used violence to reverse the Prohibition doesn't mean alcoholism is now socially proper while marijuana is not. Truth be told, a person who avoids both marijuana and alcohol are completely better off.

Editor: Right, and avoiding Jews in '34 in Berlin was a wise move for little white boys who valued their ass too.  No offense, but it sounds like a coward's take on the issue.  Hitler made laws, were they right?  Incredibly, they were far stupider than the ridiculous American drug laws, but then you guys have to keep it underground so the cartels stay in business.  I'll bet you would think differently if you lived near the U.S. border in say, Texas.  Your first sentence by the way is a contradiction.  This, readers, is the whole 'sheeple' thing we constantly refer to in our comments and stories, bah bah!.  

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