420 Day Celebration Of Best Arizona Sports Marijuana Stories

I am sure I don't have to tell you people what day it is today. Today is April 20, aka 4/20, aka 420, and all steaming from 4:20 p.m., the time the kids used to meet after school and light one up. It's the one day of the year in which the celebration of marijuana comes out of the smoky closet and we talk openly about the green stuff. Or at least we do here at SB Nation Arizona where our zero tolerance policy is waived for just this one day of the year. In honor of Pot Day, we look back at some of our favorite stories involving sports and marijuana.

We start with the obvious, Arizona sports teams don't have the history with the ganja that other franchises have been blessed with. There's no "Jail Blazers" here and you better believe that images of Michael Beasley smoking pot are part of the reason why he's not in a Suns' uniform.

Arizona sports drug history is most famous for the late 80's cocaine scandals involving the Phoenix Suns.

As an aside, whatever Walter Davis did off the court, he still has the sweetest jumper in the history of the game. Period.

Our other big drug star was Luis Shape. Oh, Luis, what a tragedy that was. Sharpe played 13 seasons for the Arizona Cardinals and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Sharpe's issues were mostly related to crack and almost lead to his being deported -- to Cuba (!). 

We did have Cliff Robinson who was arrested for having pot in his car while a member of the Suns in 2001 (he was traded shortly there after by Jerry Colangelo). We sort of can claim Corie Blount who was arrested for having 29 pounds (!!) of pot but that happened years after he played just 68 games for Phoenix over two seasons.

The real question now is how many current athletes smoke pot. 

It was a big deal at one point according to this former Suns' player in 1997:

''If they tested for pot, there would be no league,'' said Richard Dumas, the former Phoenix Suns guard who was banned from the league for drug and alcohol use and is now playing in Europe. ''Weed is something guys grow up doing, and there's no reason for them to stop. Because almost everyone does it, no one wants to test for it. They're afraid to.''

Now testing is tighter and you hear fewer stories about athletes using. That's not to say there aren't whispers and rumors around the media room about certain guys, but as the Michael Beasley case showed, the overall tolerance for dope smoking athletes is far lower than it used to be. And that, for all of our fake celebration of 420, is a good thing. 

Just say no to drugs. Just because Nancy Reagan was a little wacky herself, doesn't mean she was wrong...except about medical marijuana. Both Nancy and the Cardinals were behind the times on that one*.

 

* This opinion does not reflect the official position of SB Nation, its owners, managers or sponsors. Unless it does, because certainly many of them must also agree that marijuana should be legal when prescribed by a physician like any other drug.

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