Similar to what multiple other states are doing or have already done, Ohio is gearing up to start its own medical marijuana program. Taking a cue from Missouri and similar states, the Buckeye State’s program will be on the strict side, requiring users to meet one or more of several certain “qualifying conditions” and getting a physician’s recommendation before being allowed to legally purchase marijuana.
Authorities sought the help of the general public, launching a petition to decide which health issues it should consider adding to the list of approved qualifying conditions. Not unexpectedly, the list contained several ailments that typically come up in the conversation about what things marijuana can supposedly treat, like epilepsy, anxiety disorders, depression, and autism spectrum disorder, among others.
However, also included on the list is “Being a Browns/Bengals fan.”
It probably started with a joke — after all, when you crowdsource ideas, the crowd is sometimes likely to come up with some tongue-in-cheek suggestions that are going to make it through the process. One example was when the British Antarctic Survey sought the internet’s help in coming up with the name of a research vessel — only for users to come up with Boaty McBoatFace. The agency instead named the vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough instead.
Joke or not, the state medical board will have to consider it since it was properly submitted through the proper channels.
So, is being a fan of either the AFC North’s Cleveland Browns or Cincinnati Bengals enough to qualify for medical marijuana?
Well, the two teams fleshed out the bottom two slots of their division in the 2019 NFL season — combining for a record of 8-24 — so there’s that. And in the nearly 20 years since the Browns have been in Cleveland following a hiatus, they’ve had only two winning seasons and one playoff appearance. The Bengals are slightly better, having made the postseason with relative consistency since 1990. However, over that timeframe, they’ve never won a playoff game.
A fan of either team who smokes marijuana isn’t going to turn around either team’s fortunes by puffing and passing, of course. So if the state does approve medical marijuana for the fans’ use, the teams will still stink if they aren’t able to address their weaknesses. But their pot-using fans just won’t care.
There has been some evidence that being a fan of a losing team can take a toll on one’s mental health. As Men’s Health reported in 2015, watching one’s favorite sports team go through their ups and downs — a long string of downs in particular — could have a profound effect on anxiety, depression, and stress.