Drug Law

NASCAR Continues Campaign Against Marijuana, Suspends “Spotter”

| by Marijuana Policy Project

Once again, the top brass at NASCAR have taken a stand against marijuana users. Yesterday, officials for the racing organization suspended crewmember and former driver Randy LaJoie indefinitely after he tested positive for marijuana. The test was not to make sure that he could be a driver, but that he could be a spotter. For those of you not familiar with racing, the spotter sits in the stands and relays car positions to his or her driver through a headset. Please forgive my ignorance of the details of racing, but it seems as if this is basically a professional spectator, with the enviable bonus of getting to yell at the driver.

Seriously, a drug test is required for this job.

LaJolie now joins the massive ranks of athletes and celebrities forced to apologize for using a substance safer than alcohol.

“I screwed up,” LaJolie said in an interview the day he was suspended.

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NASCAR’s behavior is not that surprising. Back in March, officials waited until the last minute to deny Cannabis Planet TV the opportunity to sponsor, and place advertisements on, one of the cars. The car was allowed to race, but with different sponsors.

It seems like the world of racing is lining up against marijuana. In a recent press release, the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced the start of a new campaign with Indy 500 racer Sarah Fisher to combat drugged driving.

This is all well and good. MPP does not advocate driving under the influence of any substance, including marijuana. It just seems strange that ONDCP and the racing community would spend valuable resources targeting marijuana in light of a recent study that shows marijuana use has very little impact on driving ability.

To date, NASCAR is still on very good terms with its alcohol sponsors.