One Official Believes Langara Student's Training Methods To Be Problematic

While most students in the cafeteria are studying for final exams, James Hillier is figuring out his travel budget for an upcoming skiing competition in the USA.

This Langara student specializes in half pipe and skis slope style but Hillier almost always competes under the influence of marijuana.

"I find when I smoke a joint I can go into flow mode and it's more intuitive," he said.

Hillier placed third at the Canadian national big air competition in 2002 and placed in the top three at the Word Skiing Invitational in 2003. He won a park jam competition at Mount Seymour in 2004.

He says marijuana changes his perspective of time and allows his senses to expand when he's in the air.

"It's all about the ganja," he said. "It seriously takes me 20 minutes just to roll enough doobies for the day to go skiing." B.C. Marijuana Party coun. Kirk Tousaw, describes Hillier's experience as the "time slow effect."

"If you can experience something in slow motion, you can be more creative with that time," Tousaw said.

However Tibor Palatinus of NARCONON Vancouver, a non-traditional drug education and rehabilitation program, sees moral and health problems with Hillier's habit.

"The person is not at the level where they are comfortable with the sport so they take marijuana to get to the desired level," he said.

Palatinus added marijuana can make a person feel over-confident and make them think they are better than they really are when it comes to sports.

"Marijuana creates attitudes, feelings, thoughts and distorted ideas about what reality is and ones own abilities are," he said. "[People who are high] have a camouflaged experience of what's going on."

Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati won a gold medal at the Nagano Olympics in 1998, but temporarily had it stripped when he tested positive for marijuana use. Rebagliati claimed the traces of the drug found in the test were from second hand smoke. Eventually, Rebagliati had his medal reinstated because the International Olympic Committee had no policy on marijuana use.

Kira Carre, a first year student and athlete for the Langara Women's basketball team said she wouldn't use marijuana to enhance her performance for two main reasons.

"First of all it's illegal," she said.

Also, Carre thinks it would slow her down and possibly damage her lungs.

"I just think your natural talent is probably better," she said.