ALL-PRO POT WARRIOR ( NORML has a new champion )

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by AmsterdamdreamN, Mar 30, 2003.

  1. I got this out of Playboy Forum. Any mistake in spelling or grammer is all my fault.

    Mark Stepnoski spent 13 years as a offensive lineman in the National Football League, during which time he earned 2 Superbowl rings. The five-time Pro-Bowl center for the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Oilers retired in 2002, anticipating a life out of the limelight. Then he accepted the presidency of the Texas chapter of the National Orginization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We asked sportswriter Curt Sampson to pay Stepnoski a visit in Plano, Texas.

    Q: You're the first pro athelete to admit his marijuana use and take a stand for reform. Tough decision?
    A:It's easier to talk about now that I'm done playing. I felt more courageous when I gave NORML $2000 in 1998 to become a lifetime member. Last year Rick Day, president of the Texas chapter, wrote to tell me he was moving to Atlanta. He asked if I would be interested in taking his place. I was going to be a spokesman for NORMAL anyway, since I had agreed to join people like Willie Nelson, Daniel Stern, Robert Altman and Bill Maher on the organization's national advisory board.
    Q: What explain your interest in NORML?
    A: Marijuana laws threaten the freedom of everyone, not just the people who smoke. The cost to taxpayers of arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning people for simple possesion is between 7.5 billion and 10 billion annually. Ninety percent of the 724,000 people arrested each year for possession are caught with an ounce or less. Nearly every state has a defecit. We could replace all that red ink with black and generate revenue from fines for possession. A dozen states have effectively done that.
    Q: What about the idea that smoking marijuana leads to more-dangerous drugs?
    A: The gateway theory is a myth. I'm not a proponent of telling anyone to use marijuana, just as I'd never tell anyone to drink or smoke cigarettes. But the punishment should fit the crime. The U.S. Supreme Court has approved drug testing for any kid in extracurricular activities. That gives kids the notion that drugs are a bigger problem than they actually are, and it may make a withdrawn kid more withdrawn. The Higher Education Act says any high school student caught with marijuana cannot get federal aid for college. That's overly punitive, and it doesn't apply to any other offense - including violent crimes.
    Q: What influenced your thinking on this?
    A: I learned about what NORML was doing from articles in High Times magazine. I learned about attacks on our civil liberties in the Playboy Forum. I've read alot of books on the subject. One in particular I liked - Ain't Nobody's Buisness if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country by Peter McWilliams. He makes the point that substances are nuetral. None of them are bad by themselves. It's your relationship to them that's either good or bad. In other words, responsible use is the key. Not all use can be called abuse.
    Q: When did you first smoke?
    A: High School, freshman year. In a perfect world, no one would experiment until after the age of 18 or 21. But that's not what happens. The important thing is not to ruin someone's life because of it.
    Q: The NFL tests for marijuana. How did you avoid testing positive?
    A: When I came into the league, I was tested once during training camp. In my 10th year they started testing in minicamps, from April to July. But it was still just one test. Avoiding a single positive test is not that hard. But I resented it. I was being treated like a child, and the drug that could have gotten me into trouble is safer than many other legal substances. And it's not performance enhancing.
    Q: Did you ever play high?
    A: Some news stories give the impression that I smoked before games, but I didn't. Never before practice or even the night before a game. I took football too seriously for that. For me, it's a social thing, so I smoked after games, which is one of the few times during the season that a player has a free moment. Plus, my body would be beat up and I didn't like to take painkillers.
    Q: Was Troy Aikman at the post game parties? Emmitt Smith?
    A: No, but occasionally team-mates would be there, sure. A guy from ESPN Radio asked me, " How many players in the NFL smoke marijuana?" How the hell should I know? There are 53 guys on each team, and there are 32 teams. Surveys indicate that 35 percent of Americans have tried marijuana nad about 10 percent use it regularly. You could project that onto the league.
    Q: What's the worst thing that has happened since you came out?
    A: I had been elected to the hall of fame at my high school, Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pennsylvania. We had a date for the induction ceremony and I had chosen a presenter - then, suddenly, my name was withdrawn.
    Q: What would you tell the Bush administration?
    A: Stop arresting pot smokers.
     
  2. there was an article about that guy in the April issue of High Times...it was neat :D
     
  3. Thanks for typing it out, AmsterdamdreamN. When I got the new issue with Torrie Wilson on the cover, I was going to post about it but I wasn't so much looking forward to typing the whole thing out...LOL! Playboy always has good pro-marijuana stuff in their forum just about every month.

    You'd think with so many influential people rallying for the decriminalization and legalization of MaryJane that the government would make some kind of changes in our laws.
     

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