June 7, 2008

Bermuda

'The biggest problem is marijuana'

Martin Williamson

Lionel Cann has revealed in his Bermuda Sun column that Bermuda has a serious problem.

If we could stop people smoking weed we would have triple the amount of players available. If you can't give up marijuana to play for your country and reach the pinnacle of your sport then you have a serious, serious problem.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by Cluplisse on (August 24, 2008, 23:48 GMT)

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Thanks, Cluplisse

Posted by Graham on (June 11, 2008, 9:16 GMT)

I was making the (incorrect) assumption that we were talking about adults in this thread (i.e. individuals of 18 years or older). I in no way condone children smoking (tobacco or marijuana) or drinking, although I believe the continental way of dealing with drinking (introducing alcohol in a family setting) is far superior to that practiced in the UK. And as for expressing yourself freely - isn't that exactly what you have been doing in this thread? And how on earth could I stop it, even if I wanted to (which I don't)?

These days kids have an accelerated childhood (possibly lost would be a better word), and underage drinking and smoking is another manifestation of that. They no longer seem to have the luxury of time to decide their futures, and that is sad.

EDITOR'S NOTE: No more on the merits of marijuana please, let's stick to the cricket.

Posted by Chris on (June 10, 2008, 18:38 GMT)

Graham you are being oversensitive. If you read my original post properly at least, you will see I was speaking out against young children/teenagers smoking at all. Up to this point you still haven't said a word about that, but criticize others for doing so. Is it alright for people under 16 to smoke cigarettes or weed or to drink? I don't think so because they're some things that should only be left as a choice by capable adults. Not a single poster I originally referred to even seemed remotely concerned that children are making adult choices about such things and one (Josh) even asked why "aspiring youngsters" should have to choose between a "normal social life" and becoming an athlete. What normal social life for youngsters include smoking anything at all or drinking?

You claim to be on the side of libertarians but require others NOT to express themselves freely because it is "moralizing" on something you like. That's hypocrisy. Apparently freedom is only meant for you.

Posted by Graham on (June 9, 2008, 19:58 GMT)

If they want to play for their country they should display the required commitment. But to ostracize and demonise them for a few tokes on a spliff to wind down at day's end is ridiculous. Imagine the uproar on the county circuit if the players couldn't get together for a few drinks at the end of a day.

That is what it should be compared to, not the hellfire and brimstone world you and those of your ilk like to paint.

Posted by Graham on (June 9, 2008, 19:54 GMT)

Weak-kneed liberal fraternity? I'm on the side of the libertarians, giving people the right to deal with their lives in the way they see fit, as long as no-one else is harmed as a result.

Of course Marijuana is illegal in just about every jurisdiction on earth. However as I am harming nobody but myself I choose to regard it as a bad law and ignore it, as do an increasing number of people. (Cue apoplectic spluttering from Chris and MalcolmS).

I also believe that Marijuana's supposed danger is hugely overstated by vested interests like the alcohol lobby.

But more than anything is the simple fact that prohibition doesn't work and never has. It simply glamorises the drug and puts its distribution and profits into the criminal world. If some brave governments (like the Dutch) were to decriminalise, regulate and tax it then the criminal elements (the real problem in the whole affair) would be cut out of the loop.

And I wasn't advocating players bunking off, whether on drugs or booze.

Posted by Chris on (June 9, 2008, 19:28 GMT)

Finally, Graham, don't bother comparing apples and oranges (alcohol/tobacco v. marijuana in Bermuda) and don't use words like "disingenuous" if you don't know what they mean. I was entirely sincere in my comments and just didn't want to bother to address each poster individual (that's why I can use a word like "posters" to encompass everyone instead of repeating names). Also, alcohol is not my "drug of choice" - I don't have a drug of choice as I don't drink or smoke anything (unlike you apparently who probably smokes and drinks and doesn't seem to have a problem with young kids smoking and probably drinking). I have as much right to moralize about anything I want, just as you have a right to write foolishness. It's called "free speech". I don't actually care if adults want to smoke (I originally said if adults want to smoke that is their risk), but any normal person shouldn't be okay with children younger than 16-18 drinking and smoking unless you would allow your children to do so...

Posted by Chris on (June 9, 2008, 19:09 GMT)

Graham, I am aware that the ICC makes the rules, but I am also sure you are aware that the ICC is not a government. Marijuana smoking is illegal in Bermuda according to the Bermuda government, not the ICC. The ICC does some very silly things, but criticizing ICC policy in an article that has nothing to do with the ICC or its policy is pointless. An understanding of basic English would have shown that the quotes in the article referred in no way whatsoever to the ICC and instead referred to Bermuda (including its government and civil society etc. - The ICC couldn't stop marijuana smoking in Bermuda because it isn't the government there).

Dragging the ICC into a topic like this is like critcizing the UN over crime in South Africa (nonsensical) - the UN would have nothing to do with that even though there are international laws on crime and war (hence there is an ICJ and the other ICC) simply because it isn't in the UN's purview.

Posted by MalcolmS on (June 9, 2008, 18:50 GMT)

The other point being missed by Graham and his ilk is that the criticism actually came from one of the Bermuda players. If someone on the inside has identified such a serious problem, then surely it’s not for the weak-kneed liberally fraternity to start claiming that the drug should be tolerated despite it being illegal in almost every civilised society.

As for the argument that it does not damage your health and, in fact, even helps it … well, cast your mind back to the 1950s and 60s when they said the same about cigarettes. And there is more than anecdotal evidence that smoking the stuff can contribute to a raft of illnesses including mental ones.

Posted by Chris on (June 9, 2008, 18:49 GMT)

Besides Graham, even though alcohol isn't necessarily addictive, the article would still hold true if the topic had been alcoholism instead of addictive marijuana use. If it had stated that the pool of players would be larger if more kids (some as young as 13-14) were not drunk ALL the time wouldn't it be true? And if it is the person's personality that makes them addicted then wouldn't it be good for those who do become addicted to kick the habit? Unless you are advocating addiction to any and all substances.

You ask why people can't have regular spliffs without becoming addicted and claimed I ignored that possibility. I ignored it because it wasn't relevant. And the reason it wasn't relevant is that unlike alcohol, marijuana is still illegal in most places (except Amsterdam). What would be the point discussing it when it was illegal anyway? It would be the same with hashish and alcohol in most of the Middle East - since alcohol is illegal there the two cannot be properly compared.

Posted by Chris on (June 9, 2008, 18:27 GMT)

Graham, yes I am aware that the ICC makes the rules, but I am also sure that you are aware that the ICC is not a government. Marijuana smoking is illegal in Bermuda according the Bermuda government, not the ICC. Therefore complaining and taking potshots at ICC policy over something that actually doesn't involve the ICC is rather pointless. The ICC does a LOT of stupid things, but basic English should be enough to show that the person being quoted referred to the ICC in no way whatsoever and was rather talking about Bermuda's government and society. He was stating that if Bermuda (government, civil society etc. - NOT the ICC) could get their kids (minors really) to kick an addictive habit then there would be a larger pool of players. Saying the ICC has anything to do with it is like trying to drag the UN into a topic such as crime in South Africa - the UN has nothing to do with that even though there are international laws on crime and war (which is why there is an ICJ and other ICC).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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