Marijuana Lobbyists? They're Smokin' the Competition!

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Sunday, August 5, 2007

So, listen, Barry Bonds: We've got, like, a completely new way of thinking about this whole debate on controlled substances in athletics that will totally blow your mind.

The new team in first place in the Congressional Softball League? None other than Washington's marijuana lobbyists. Dude!

The One Hitters -- a team sponsored by Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and related advocacy groups -- had by last week amassed a 13-3 record and vaulted to the top of the league, which includes teams from the RNC, DNC, Justice, Customs and Border Protection Service and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

"This effectively shatters the notion that drug policy reformers are just a bunch of lazy 'stoners,' " SSDP's Tom Angell wrote to us.

This stereotype has plagued the team since it joined the league four years ago. "We've definitely heard some snickers. Teams come in thinking we're going to be pushovers," said executive director and team captain/starting pitcher Kris Krane. "We have a chip on our shoulder about it."

Two years ago, the team fielded by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy refused to play the One Hitters -- first pleading scheduling problems but later copping to ideological concerns. Krane is still steamed: "We're contributing members of society. We're policy people who genuinely care about the impact the war on drugs is having on our nation, and we're trying to dispel some of the stereotypes."

So: What's up with the name? Krane admitted that "it's sort of a double-entendre," alluding to small marijuana pipes. "We really didn't want to do anything to reinforce the stoner stereotype -- because we're not a bunch of stoners, we're policy wonks. But we decided to have some fun."

And when they celebrate after the game? "The only substances you'll find on our team is beer," Krane said.

Sorry, You're Not on the List

One in an occasional series of dispatches from parties you should have crashed.

Site: The Palm restaurant, Dupont Circle.

Occasion: Tuesday's closing night party at the 35-year-old steakhouse -- known for its caricatures of VIPs and expense-account loyalists -- before shutting down for a two-month renovation/expansion.

Draw: Eating and drinking for free as the wait staff attempted to deplete the stock.

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