Source: Bellingham Herald 
Pubdate: 23 Feb 1998

The recent case of Ross Rebagliati, Olympic gold medalist snowboarder who
tested positive for marijuana, presents unique challenges to the media and
the American mind.

Our media, accustomed to demonizing marijuana and its users at every turn,
cannot sit comfortably with the idea of an unpunished and unrepentant
smoker.  But where is the angle for the story? Where is the "amotivational
syndrome"? How to tie in marijuana's debilitating effects on performance?
Rebagliati's intelligence and masterful ability do not lend themselves
easily to the "slacker" angle.  The question remains: How do we reprimand,
parody or at least dismiss this oddity?

The American drug war industrial complex cannot dare, for a moment,
acknowledge what tens of millions of Americans already know- that most adult
marijuana smokers are just like you and me.  They're not demons, they're not
immoral, and they're not necessarily dimwitted dudes. 

Canadians are light years ahead of us on this one.  To them our relentless
drug war obsessions must appear to be paranoid delusions in a class all our

Ross Rebagliati will return to his homeland a national hero, and rightfully

Kevin Nelson, Bow, WA