Posted in Teens, Underage Drinking & more

Do All Frisbee Players Smoke Pot?

“It’s an entry drug,” my friend says when I tell her that my son wants to join the frisbee team.

“I know, right?” I say. “That worries me.”

To my son, I say, “Great. Just don’t become one of those stoners who says ‘dude’ all the time.”

Can I say that? It’s probably wrong to use the label “stoners,” but my son smiles knowingly.

Frisbee wasn’t a team thing when I was a kid. It was something you did on the beach in the soft sand where you burned your soles. I didn’t play. I could never get the hang of throwing it right, let alone catching it.

By the time I was a young adult, I met a guy who played on a team out in “Cali.” Manny wore a gold frisbee charm around his neck and was always smiling. He was a great guy, warm and friendly, and very cool; but even though he was in his twenties he rode a bike around our resort beach town. You know what that means, don’t you: D.W.I. or D.U.I.–Depending on your state. (Are there other acronyms for “I loss my license for driving under the influence?”)

The other stoners I knew always had squinty eyes and the munchies and not much mojo. They listened to Neil Young or Bob Dylan for hours on end; which later became video games.

I know. I’m being judgmental. I only inhaled a few times in my entire youthful abandon, and it never caught on for me so I’m prejudiced against it. And I’m going to catch crap about it because I keep moving to places where it seems like everyone lights up. In Steamboat, even the lawyers were puffing on their way up the mountain in the Gondola; and in Vermont… don’t get me started.

Pot smoking seems to be an accepted right of passage here. “Make sure you tell your kids to buy locally grown weed,” the other mothers say.

“That’s what their cabin is for,” say the dads about the structures their sons build to have a place of their own.

“Be the frisbee player who doesn’t smoke pot,” I say to my son.

“Don’t write about me anymore,” he says. Kids are starting to read this stuff.”

“That’s great. Give me five.”

“I’m not giving you five for that Mom.”

My son, who shall remain nameless to protect his separate identity, goes on to tell me that not all frisbee players smoke pot, and then adds a qualifier, “probably not.”

He tells me that it’s becoming a serious college sport, and that my stereotypes taint it.

Thus in exchange for my disdain, I’ll offer a really cool link–all about the history of the frisbee–and how the game Ultimate was invented in–New Jersey–where I met that guy not really named Manfred.

(ps. Manfred’s name was changed to protect his lack of innocence.)

Kelly Salasin, November 2011

To join the conversation about substance use and parenting teens, comment below, or click here for more from myself, my nameless son, and other readers.

(And Manfred, if you’re reading this, can I use your real name? It’s so you, and so much cooler than the one I made up; without any help from my son, I might add, who refused to offer me a stereotypical pot smoking, frisbee player name.)


Lifelong educator, writer, retreat & journey leader, yoga & yogadance instructor.

10 thoughts on “Do All Frisbee Players Smoke Pot?

  1. Pot is part of college. Not frisbee. Frisbee is part of college….so yes, pot can be had through frisbee. But not everyone does it, and, in my experiences with frisbee teams, very few pressure teammates into doing things they truly don’t want to do…that being said if your son wants to do pot, he’ll do it, and probably do it through frisbee…i guess a part of it is that it is not a regulated sport. There are coaches, but they can’t kicks players off the team, and no suspension is to be had for being high. Thus it is an environment where smoking pot is “allowed”, so of course college kids do it…but plenty of them don’t, simply because “smoking isn’t their thing”….your worry would be the same worry any parent has sending their kid to college, so it is irrational to pin it only on frisbee.


  2. I’m a frisbee player, though rather on the older side… I’m sure that some ulti players smoke, but my guess would be that when you control for other factors (age, political affiliation, general fitness level) there’s no particular correlation between pot use and frisbee playing.

    What I will say is that in my years of playing not one time have I seen someone smoking pot at a game, or afterwards, or being noticeably high at a game – or for that matter at a social event. As I say, I’m a bit older (37) so needless to say drug use is much less prevalent than with younger folks – but in no way is there a culture of drug use associate with ultimate. What’s more, if you want to keep your kid off weed, having him involved in a cardio-intensive sport that inspires him is probably one of the best things you can do. I’m also an ex-cigarette smoker, and being involved in ultimate makes it much, much easier to resist the occasional urge there, as I value my lung function highly.

    Finally I’ll add – I smoked my share of pot in college; I stopped not because I felt the need to “quit” but simply because I moved and didn’t care enough to find a new supply. The point of this story is to say that many, many people (most, in fact) experiment with pot in their late teens/early twenties, and there are very few for whom it causes any problems. I now have a master’s degree and am pursuing a PhD – so I wouldn’t say my “drug problem” caused me any problems. Things like seatbelt use, reckless driving, wearing a helmet on a bicycle, and yes, tobacco are far, far greater dangers.


  3. let me blow this up to the extreme: are all people of islamic faith terrorists? no. so why would all frisbee players be pot heads. if your son really takes the sport seriously i suggest that you watch this:
    do you think that he would have been able to make that catch with the slowed reaction times that a bit of pot causes? probably not. another thing frisbee to me is a sport about endurance. you must stick to the man you are guarding (basketball), have keen field awareness to look for potential plays(football), and must be able to run your ass off for an hour straight and not get winded(soccer). its this trifecta of sports that is called ultimate. a “stoner” cant play they would just mess things up. you son wants to play frisbee? i say fine let him play. I’m not sure if there is some initiation for joining the team, like he has to smoke a bowl once or twice. but all you should care about is that he is playing and that makes him happy not “happy” just happy. he wont be able to compete when he is gasping for air with lungs full of smoke, and he probably knows this.


    1. I am an avid athlete, I play tennis, mountain bike, run and workout regularly, and snowboard. And I’ve done everyone of the above activities stoned. People think pot makes you stupid because…well I’m not sure really. Probably because the people making those judgements are themselves lacking in truthful information regarding pot. Pot smoke and tobacco smoke have very different effects on the lungs. Bottom line, if youre lazy to begin with, pot will enforce that. If you aren’t, pot won’t suddenly make you a shit head, it’s not opium.


  4. I remember a mother I knew in Vermont practically celebrating when she found out her son had “finally” tried pot. This stands out as one of the more ridiculous things I’ve seen a parent do or say, even years later, even after working with many children and families as my clients in therapy. The notion that marijuana harms no one is also too absurd to know where to begin to respond to the claim, so I won’t. That’s just willful ignorance. The information is out there. Parents who smoke and are checked-out on drugs end up damaging not only themselves, but their kids. Whatever it is they’re trying to numb themselves from (whether parent or adolescent user) would be better dealt with in other ways that don’t damage the brain and leave them a dulled version of themselves. Same with alcohol, though alcohol has other cultural uses that don’t involve imbibing to the point of intoxication.
    I have to say to your son (who isn’t nameless, since his comments on another post and identifying himself) I’m less worried about other kids reading about his consideration of drugs or alcohol than I am about potential colleges or employers, who now regularly do searches on the web about candidates–it might be considered normal in VT, but VT isn’t like everyplace else and doesn’t think like everyplace else (yes, part of its charm, as well). Once it’s out there, it’s out there. Even when removing something from a site, cached versions are still searchable. And once it’s out there, you can’t control how people will interpret it.


  5. Marijuana is a completely harmless substance. We aren’t telling the truth about pot and it is just ridiculous. Pot has so many more benefits than negative side-effects its not even comparable. It is a natural plant that grows on the same earth we do. To make a plant illegal, and make the act of smoking it, which harms no one at all, illegal, is just complete blasphemy. I hope one day we will open our minds and pot will be legalized. Do you believe marijuana will ever be legal worldwide?

    Great post! 🙂

    If you are interested, I have a lot of posts about marijuana in my blogging community.

    I am sure you will find some valuable information within our community!

    Cheers! 🙂 🙂


  6. I don’t have any experience with frisbee teams. Mine were surfers and skaters. But there were (always) kids who drank, weed-smokers, straight-edge, hadn’t-decided-yets, and they gave each other respect and room to be without coercion. If anything, the less-institutionalized sports have a less intimidating history of conformity enforced by hazing.


  7. In defense of the young man, here in PA, ultimate frisbee sports teams are a big thing from jr. high through h.s. and into college, as is frisbee golf. Yeah, the field that they’re played on may not be the only green grass being utilized @ times & I admire that you’re trying too be a productive & positive parent. Love you’re xoxo


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