In a professional sports world where undercover steroid abuse runs rampant, there is another drug, or plant really, that is slowly returning to prominence. Somehow, players continue to receive serious fines and suspensions for its use, despite the fact that it is considerably less dangerous than anything you could inject into your ass with a needle. And I’d bet some athletes would even argue, through a cloud of skunky haze, that it elevates their game.

You might have guessed it — the greenery I am referring to is marijuana. To those of you who detest Jah’s gift to the worlds of peace, music and food, allow me to define it as pot, dope or any other term that brings self-satisfaction to your inherent squareness. To the rest of you, what I meant up there is bud, ganja, trees or whatever you call the thug-nugs you were burning through all of yesterday.

Enough exaltation, back to my point. What’s up with all these ridiculous monetary sanctions on players who are just trying to chill? Despite having the unique pleasure of making bank by playing ball, these guys have seriously stressful lives. With the media on their nuts, the pressure of performing under a microscope has forced ESPN’s golden boys into some crazy life choices.

Look at what happened to Alex “A-Roid” Rodriguez. Instead of getting blown in a Texas desert, he went on a roiding rampage, ultimately leading up to a reversal of roles where the muscle-bound bomber became a makeup-wearing poodle on national TV. If someone had only passed him a peace pipe, maybe we wouldn’t have been subjected to constant SportsCenter coverage of his stale saga with the juice.

The Yankee whipping boy and others of his orientation should have paid attention to their bowl-ripping, pro athlete brethren that played at the top of their game coasting on cheeba. Over in the NFL, Ricky Williams was tearing up the running game while failing drug test after drug test. Back in his heyday, pretty Ricky would piss pure THC and go beast-mode on opposing defenses every Sunday, but now that he’s off the herb, he’s nothing but a run-of-the-mill back whose survival hinders on the “wildcat”.

To kick off 2009, fellow NFL-er Santonio Holmes won the Super Bowl MVP thanks to one of the sweetest TD catches in history. But just months before the wideout became the king of the Steel Curtain, he was buried after getting caught puffing the purps. Needless to say, Santonio was blowing smoke in the face of numerous strippers with the hypocritical Pittsburgh general management after winning the big game.

Professional basketball has done especially well setting the precedent for balling baked. Sure, the frequent lack of effort shown in pro-hoops could be attributed to the fact that the majority of its players take the court red-eyed. However, certain organizations would never have reached new heights if it weren’t for the influence of Mary Jane, a woman far more respectable than the tyrant NBA wives that need fat rocks and blouse tags dug out of dog shit to keep them content. MJ provided all of the loving the Portland Jailblazers needed to build up their doja dynasty of the early 2000s.

Nothing bonds a team together quite like daily sessions both on and off the court, and four cannabis crackdowns later including a feeble smuggling attempt involving tin foil, an ounce of product, airport security and one Damon Stoudamire, the team had unbreakable solidarity stemming from a love of two things: basketball and buddha. Though their playoff runs weren’t the most memorable, the brotherhood they exemplified laid the groundwork for the upstart Blazers of today.

Could Warrior swingman Stephen Jackson control his Bay Area gun-slinging without nerve-calming swishers at the ready? Could Michael Phelps have won eight golds without bud-induced hunger pangs driving him toward Peking Duck with a side of chow mein? I think not.

Why does authority continue to condemn pro players reaping benefits of the wonder weed while acts with actual dangerous implication like DUIs receive lesser penalties? It’s time to wake up and smell the dank. Our childhood heroes of sport continue to get it done running on THC. Once San Francisco passes the bill to legalize, California will make its return as the mecca of pro sports. That’s right, Boston. Continue to revel in your douchebaggery, it will come back and bite you eventually. I guaransheed it.