|Ross and his Gold.|
This case is something special, however. Rebagliati won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in snowboarding, in 1998, and nearly lost his medal after testing positive for marijuana just afterwards. He kept his prize after claiming he'd been a victim of secondhand smoke at a send-off party in Whistler.
Now Rebagliati's ex-wife is claiming she has found marijuana residue on their son's hair, alleging he was also exposed to second-hand smoke during visits to his father. Whether or not this test is valid, or if it would even harm the boy if it's true, is unknown. They've just found out that baby shampoo can give a positive test for marijuana, for one thing.
Ross was charming and well spoken on Jay Leno's show after the Games. He told Jay his reaction to hearing he tested positive was, "Holy smokes!" He admitted to smoking until April of 1997, but said he quit to follow the Olympic rules. Leno joked, "So unlike Bill Clinton, who said he smoked but didn't inhale, you inhaled but didn't smoke."
Ross laughed about the jokes he was made the butt of (Jay called him Ross Nickel Bag-Liati), but you've got to wonder what it's been like for him, after all he's accomplished, to have the stigma of being a "pothead" following him around. According to Wikipedia, he won a libel suit against producers of a TV series that defamed him. He couldn't even attend Mitt Romney's Salt Lake City Olympic Games due to a law denying entry into the so-called "land of the free" to any known drug user. (Amy Winehouse was denied entry for a US music festival for the same reason.)
Rebagliati now admits to smoking pot for aching joints, but not daily. It's not inconceivable that his joints would now ache. Many current and former athletes have presented themselves to California doctors for pain relief, and one author even thinks it could save the NFL.
As more parents speak out and stand up for their rights, the tide is turning towards reason, rather than breaking up families over a little marijuana use. The New York Times recently ran an article titled Pot for Parenting written by a San Francisco art gallery owner who finds himself a better father after smoking his medical marijuana. And a California court recently ruled that a father's medical marijuana use was not sufficient reason to infringe on his parental rights.
Let's all stand up for parents everywhere who use marijuana responsibly.