Bermuda June 7, 2008

'The biggest problem is marijuana'

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

Click here to read the full column.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cluplisse on August 24, 2008, 23:48 GMT

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Cluplisse on August 24, 2008, 23:48 GMT

    Does somebody try loan from hourlyloan.com before? i wan't to make an personal loan on this company and i am looking for feedback.

    Thanks, Cluplisse

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Abhishek on June 9, 2008, 18:10 GMT

    I might be missing a point here, but is marijuana legal in Bermuda? If it is, then I can begin to understand the sympathy that is being shown here for 'recreational wont-ever-become-an-addict' players. If illegal, then irrespective of the threat of addiction or not, its just not done.

  • MalcolmS on June 9, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    I’ve read some tosh in my time, by Graham’s comment takes the biscuit. So, Graham, you are seriously saying that because you think marijuana is OK that it should be treated in the same way as, say tobacco? Try going through almost any airport in the world and use that argument when you are stopped. It’s not the ICC you should be having a go at anyway. It’s most governments and also WADA that you should be attacking.

    Your argument seems to be that anything in moderation, or that you deem safe, is fine? Why not performance enhancing drugs? You seem to think that it’s up to the individual.

    Are you seriously suggesting that if you were coach you would be happy with players missing sessions or not turning up for games because they were smoking weed? Alcohol is no better if it is abused.

    Cann’s comments make it clear why Bermuda are the mess they are. It is their sportsman that need sorting out and not anyone in authority

  • Morris Odumbe on June 9, 2008, 17:43 GMT

    If you havent ever toked...you havent enjoyed life, for crying out loud weed isnt as harmful to you as the westerners have portrayed it to be. If Philip morris packed 20 Jz in a pack it would be considered way less harmful than booze. But then again they had no way of profiting from it as it comes from a Black or Brown country.. for all of you that think weed is more harmful than cigarettes or alcohol, please do some research then talk. I accept the fact that kids "underage" shouldnt be toking, its the same as kids getting hooked on the cigarettes or beer but the fact of the matter is weed isnt even close to alcohol...(Ps weed doesnt kill or get you out of your senses... just plain munchies and makes you concentrate more)

  • Graham on June 9, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    Deliberately disingenuous comments there, Chris. The article may not mention the ICC by name, but it is they who make the rules; a fact of which I'm sure you're aware.

    Marijuana is not necessarily an addictive drug, in the same way that booze is not necessarily addictive. It is the personality of the user that is addictive more than the drug of choice.

    You admit that people can have 'regular drinks' without becoming an addict; why then can't people have 'regular spliffs' without becoming an addict? The fact is that they can, something else you try to ignore.

    Just because Marijuana is not your drug of choice (I'm fairly sure alcohol is) does not mean that you have the right to declare it off-limits and start moralising about it..

  • Chris on June 9, 2008, 8:46 GMT

    I'm not sure I understand where all these posters got the idea that the ICC has anything to do with this. Surely you all actually read the article? The ICC wasn't even mentioned. Nor did the article say that marijuana was considered as performance-enhancing. I'm also not sure I understand why it's supposed to be okay for kids the age of 13 or 14 to be able to choose a "normal" social life that includes getting hooked on marijuana. If grown-ups want to smoke then that's their business (and their cancer risk) but really, how can one be okay with kids who are barely teenagers choosing an unhealthy and addictive habit that over time will surely lead to an abnormal social life? And if people can't give up alcoholism (as opposed to just regular drinks - there is a difference) to play any sport (a healthy activity) then they are well and truly wasted. If attitudes like this are prevalent in Bermuda then Bermudian cricket is in serious trouble.

  • Josh on June 9, 2008, 8:23 GMT

    How many people would give up drinking (as in, even one beer a week/month/lifetime) to play cricket? Smoking isn't terribly good for you, and I'd have thought it would be better for peak-condition athletes not to smoke, but why force any aspiring youngster to choose between a normal social life and the vague possibility of becoming a top player? It's one thing to make the choice once you are sure you'll make it, but quite another to give up your childhood/youth for an off-chance.

  • Theena on June 9, 2008, 4:54 GMT

    But it's okay to drink all the booze you can get your grubby hands on. I wonder if authorities seriously consider marijuana a performance enhancing drug for sportsmen. If so, the ICC is more retarded than I have given them credit for.

  • Ralph Zimmermann on June 8, 2008, 21:41 GMT

    Do you laugh or cry?! Inclined to the former myself - you can't argue that Bermuda make the world of cricket a more interesting place!

  • Graham on June 8, 2008, 21:04 GMT

    I suppose it's too much to ask that an enlightened attitude will prevail at the ICC and weed will be taken off the proscribed list. It cannot, by any stretch of the imagination be classed as a performance-enhancing drug. Relaxation and mood enhancing yes, but never performance.

  • Chris on June 7, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    So Bermuda gets rid of its only multi-day domestic tournament and has problems with players not interested in turning up for training or multi-day matches and now has problems with players smoking marijuana? At this rate Bermuda will be lucky to still be an associate member by 2011. I don't expect that they will do anything in the World Cup Qualifier and will probably lose their place in the intercontinental cup (and why should they play 4-day cricket if they can't even find enough players to turn out for 2-day cricket?). Bermuda is rapidly becoming an example of what not to do for associates, when just a couple years ago they would have been a prime example for every associate/affiliate.

  • adeel hussain on June 7, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    pass the dutchie to the left!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • adeel hussain on June 7, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    pass the dutchie to the left!!!

  • Chris on June 7, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    So Bermuda gets rid of its only multi-day domestic tournament and has problems with players not interested in turning up for training or multi-day matches and now has problems with players smoking marijuana? At this rate Bermuda will be lucky to still be an associate member by 2011. I don't expect that they will do anything in the World Cup Qualifier and will probably lose their place in the intercontinental cup (and why should they play 4-day cricket if they can't even find enough players to turn out for 2-day cricket?). Bermuda is rapidly becoming an example of what not to do for associates, when just a couple years ago they would have been a prime example for every associate/affiliate.

  • Graham on June 8, 2008, 21:04 GMT

    I suppose it's too much to ask that an enlightened attitude will prevail at the ICC and weed will be taken off the proscribed list. It cannot, by any stretch of the imagination be classed as a performance-enhancing drug. Relaxation and mood enhancing yes, but never performance.

  • Ralph Zimmermann on June 8, 2008, 21:41 GMT

    Do you laugh or cry?! Inclined to the former myself - you can't argue that Bermuda make the world of cricket a more interesting place!

  • Theena on June 9, 2008, 4:54 GMT

    But it's okay to drink all the booze you can get your grubby hands on. I wonder if authorities seriously consider marijuana a performance enhancing drug for sportsmen. If so, the ICC is more retarded than I have given them credit for.

  • Josh on June 9, 2008, 8:23 GMT

    How many people would give up drinking (as in, even one beer a week/month/lifetime) to play cricket? Smoking isn't terribly good for you, and I'd have thought it would be better for peak-condition athletes not to smoke, but why force any aspiring youngster to choose between a normal social life and the vague possibility of becoming a top player? It's one thing to make the choice once you are sure you'll make it, but quite another to give up your childhood/youth for an off-chance.

  • Chris on June 9, 2008, 8:46 GMT

    I'm not sure I understand where all these posters got the idea that the ICC has anything to do with this. Surely you all actually read the article? The ICC wasn't even mentioned. Nor did the article say that marijuana was considered as performance-enhancing. I'm also not sure I understand why it's supposed to be okay for kids the age of 13 or 14 to be able to choose a "normal" social life that includes getting hooked on marijuana. If grown-ups want to smoke then that's their business (and their cancer risk) but really, how can one be okay with kids who are barely teenagers choosing an unhealthy and addictive habit that over time will surely lead to an abnormal social life? And if people can't give up alcoholism (as opposed to just regular drinks - there is a difference) to play any sport (a healthy activity) then they are well and truly wasted. If attitudes like this are prevalent in Bermuda then Bermudian cricket is in serious trouble.

  • Graham on June 9, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    Deliberately disingenuous comments there, Chris. The article may not mention the ICC by name, but it is they who make the rules; a fact of which I'm sure you're aware.

    Marijuana is not necessarily an addictive drug, in the same way that booze is not necessarily addictive. It is the personality of the user that is addictive more than the drug of choice.

    You admit that people can have 'regular drinks' without becoming an addict; why then can't people have 'regular spliffs' without becoming an addict? The fact is that they can, something else you try to ignore.

    Just because Marijuana is not your drug of choice (I'm fairly sure alcohol is) does not mean that you have the right to declare it off-limits and start moralising about it..

  • Morris Odumbe on June 9, 2008, 17:43 GMT

    If you havent ever toked...you havent enjoyed life, for crying out loud weed isnt as harmful to you as the westerners have portrayed it to be. If Philip morris packed 20 Jz in a pack it would be considered way less harmful than booze. But then again they had no way of profiting from it as it comes from a Black or Brown country.. for all of you that think weed is more harmful than cigarettes or alcohol, please do some research then talk. I accept the fact that kids "underage" shouldnt be toking, its the same as kids getting hooked on the cigarettes or beer but the fact of the matter is weed isnt even close to alcohol...(Ps weed doesnt kill or get you out of your senses... just plain munchies and makes you concentrate more)

  • MalcolmS on June 9, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    I’ve read some tosh in my time, by Graham’s comment takes the biscuit. So, Graham, you are seriously saying that because you think marijuana is OK that it should be treated in the same way as, say tobacco? Try going through almost any airport in the world and use that argument when you are stopped. It’s not the ICC you should be having a go at anyway. It’s most governments and also WADA that you should be attacking.

    Your argument seems to be that anything in moderation, or that you deem safe, is fine? Why not performance enhancing drugs? You seem to think that it’s up to the individual.

    Are you seriously suggesting that if you were coach you would be happy with players missing sessions or not turning up for games because they were smoking weed? Alcohol is no better if it is abused.

    Cann’s comments make it clear why Bermuda are the mess they are. It is their sportsman that need sorting out and not anyone in authority