Stoned on the Slopes: How Marijuana Affects Skiing and Snowboarding
Every winter, avid skiers and snowboarders converge on Colorado. While après-ski activities are always popular, many people don’t wait until late afternoon to consume alcohol or cannabis.
And while no studies have officially examined skiing under the influence, some experts believe alcohol might be the riskier choice.
“We don’t know much about alcohol and cannabis use while people are skiing,” says Angela Bryan, a psychology and neuroscience professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, who is working on the study. CU on physical activity and the effects of cannabis, which analyzes athletes before and after cannabis use.
“What we do know something about is the impact on our ability to drive, and we know that the impact of alcohol is much more detrimental to driving than the impact of cannabis. driving under the influence of either, for But alcohol is certainly more dangerous, so I would expect the same to be true for a sport like skiing,” adds Bryan.
Even so, alcohol is also widely accepted in snow sports culture, although Colorado ski safety law prohibits people from riding in a lift or descending a slope while impaired by alcohol. alcohol or another controlled substance.
“There’s a huge stigma around cannabis use, which is ironic because at the same time, it’s perfectly fine to advertise alcohol use,” Bryan says. In fact, SPACE struggled to publicize the study on a local radio station that bans ads about cannabis use but allows those that cover alcohol-related topics.
“I can’t help but notice that alcohol is a big part of resorts,” says Dr. Ashley Brooks-Russell, director of the Center for Injury and Violence Prevention located on the medical campus of the University of Colorado at Anschutz. His current research focuses on cannabis-related impairment, particularly while driving.
“If drinking alcohol and skiing are considered acceptable and appropriate on the slopes, then there’s not much reason to think cannabis would be any different,” she says. “I don’t think it’s riskier.”
At the same time, she adds, “it all depends on how people use it.” Many factors affect behavior after use, including a person’s tolerance level: cannabis and alcohol can reduce coordination.
“If people are drinking a lot, that’s obviously going to increase the risk,” she notes. “If they’re not as familiar with the effects, I think that’s a big factor, and people who know how cannabis affects them will probably mitigate some of the risk.”
As for noobs from other states, they just need to remember that while cannabis can get them high, they still have to come down the mountain.