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08/02/2016 / By Vicki Batts
A former pro-football star and an advocate for athletes’ use of marijuana have joined forces to pilot the opening of a weed-friendly gym. The gym, which will be called Power Plant, will be opening soon in San Francisco, California and will be the first gym to allow patrons to smoke marijuana inside while they are working out.
Ricky Williams — former running back for the NFL who played for the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens — and Jim McAlpine — a snowboard company executive — say using cannabis can help people to relax and focus on their workouts. For users who don’t like to smoke, the gym will also be offering edibles and topical gels.
In order to join the gym, future patrons will need to have a medical marijuana prescription. However, that could change if California residents vote to legalize recreational cannabis use this November.
Smoking marijuana won’t just help you during your workout, according to a recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine. Despite popular stereotypes, epidemiological studies have revealed that people who smoke cannabis regularly have a lower incidence of obesity and diabetes. In the 2013 study, led by Murray A. Mittleman, M.D., Dr.PH. from Harvard University, researchers found that marijuana users showed lower fasting insulin levels and a smaller waist circumference. In fact, regular marijuana users showcased a 16% lower fasting glucose level than their non-smoking counterparts. Among current users, the researchers did not find a dose-dependent trend, meaning that the same level of benefit was seen regardless of the amount of cannabis taken.
Despite all these amazing benefits, sadly, there is still fierce opposition to the legalization of cannabis. Even in California, there are people who oppose the legalization of marijuana. One woman, Carla Lowe, even founded a political action group, known as Citizens Against Marijuana Legalization, to help defeat the ballot measure that would legalize pot in California.
In spite of marijuana’s vast medical benefits and health-boosting effects, many people believe it is still “bad,” primarily due to years of stigmatization and the fact that the government has deemed it “illegal.” Alcohol and cigarettes are basically poison, and yet those substances remain legal and no one stops to question it.
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