Snoop’s swipe at soccer star, Gazza, has been punished by Twitter fans ever since.
Snoop Dogg has been known as a cannabis advocate for decades, but his latest attempt to illustrate the benefits of cannabis didn’t go down well with some Twitter users. The rapper posted an image contrasting himself with former British soccer star Paul Gascoigne, aka “Gazza.”
The post aims to illustrate the difference in outcomes between Snoop, a lifetime cannabis smoker, and Gascoigne, who struggled for years with alcoholism and mental health problems.
Gascoigne, who was born in the same year as the rapper and cannabis advocate, doesn’t look great in the image. It was taken at the lowest point in the footballer’s battle with addiction. The rapper, on the other hand, looks as fly as ever at age 47, in spite of the occasional “Gin & Juice.”
Gazza’s struggle with addiction started at a young age. At the tender age of 13 he was already engaged in a shoplifting-funded addiction to slot machines. Despite early struggles, the star went on to a glittering career, playing for Newcastle United, Everton FC, Italian team Lazio, and the England international team.
However, as his career ended, fans saw Gazza struggle with a worsening drinking problem, resulting in spells at the famous Priory Hospital and an Arizona rehab clinic. Priory regularly treats celebrities struggling with addiction.
Cannabis vs. Alcohol: Bring It On!
Some Twitter users reacted angrily to Snoop’s tweet, including former CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, who said “This is nasty. Shame on you.”
Gazza later appeared on Morgan’s current TV show, Good Morning Britain. Gascoigne told the chat show host that he had just returned from charity work in Spain when he noticed his Twitter feed blowing up.
The activity on his page came as a surprise to the footballer: “When I found it was Snoop Dogg I thought ‘why me’? That happened six years ago’.”
He continued, “When I came out of treatment years ago I supported everyone and wished them well. So for him to attack someone like myself, for the trouble I put myself through, for him to do that was really bang out of order.”
Gazza admitted to CNN that he was hurt by the tweet from the cannabis advocate: “I was really upset at the time. I tried to look at the funny side but there wasn’t one to be fair. I was shocked. He must have been on something.”
While upset initially, Gascoigne has since relaxed. His response has been one of dignity (with a side of humor.) The footballer posted a Snoopy cartoon with the following caption: “If they respect you, respect them. If they disrespect you, still respect them. Do not allow the actions of others to decrease your good manners, because you represent yourself, not others.”
Gascoigne also suggested a novel way to bring the feud to an end: with a cannabis vs. alcohol charity boxing match against Snoop: “I’ll do a charity boxing match with him – cannabis vs booze, bring it on. I’ll take him in the ring – I’ve been working hard, working out as usual.”
What Does the Science Say?
According to NIH, 88,000 people in the US die annually from alcohol related causes. This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death behind tobacco, poor diet, and inactivity. In 2012, alcohol caused 3.3 million deaths globally, accounting for 5.9% of all deaths.
Cannabis has never resulted in a death even if occasional cases crop up where coroners cite cannabis as contributing factor in some deaths. Cannabis does not cause dangerous overdoses or to damage the body long-term like alcohol does in both cases.
The science shows that alcohol is more harmful than cannabis. Alcohol consistently grabs the top spot when scientists compare the harms of different drugs.
Nonetheless, the medical literature is clear that problematic cannabis use can constitute a substance abuse disorder. According to the NIH, one in five lifetime cannabis users qualify for a diagnosis of cannabis use disorder. Symptoms include excessive use of cannabis; difficulty cutting down; cravings; and problems with relationships, at school, and work.
Doctors have not proven Lifetime cannabis smoking to have anywhere near the same devastating outcomes as alcoholism. Still, it’s important to focus on responsible consumption. Cannabis has been great for Snoop’s career. However, workplace drug testing is still common, so that’s not the case for everyone.
Snoop’s Twitter post was clearly insensitive in light of Gascoigne’s struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction. It looks like he has realized this himself, as the image can no longer be found on the rapper’s Twitter page. In future, perhaps Snoop will focus on his work as a cannabis advocate.