Soon NCAA Athletes May No Longer Be Tested for Cannabis Use
“I think in five years, [marijuana testing] is going to be gone.”
So says Texas-based attorney Christian Dennie whose expertise in the area is often called upon to help draft and update drug policy for amateur and professional sports organizations.
Universities and colleges from coast to coast have been on an accelerated path toward cannabis acceptance for years now.
In 2010, the NCAA Safeguards Committee determined that cannabis is not a performance enhancing drug and in 2014, the NCAA voted to slash the penalty for a failed cannabis drug test from a one year suspension down to a six month suspension as society in general had already begun to greatly soften its stance on the plant, and one state after another began passing some form of cannabis legalization – be it medical, recreational, or both.
With support for federal legalization of cannabis at an all-time high in this country, our top schools are following the same trend and these days many student athletes are coming out about their cannabis use and getting away with it.
CBS News reports that it takes five failed drug tests due to cannabis use before a football player at Rutgers University is kicked from the team.
They call Rutgers an “outlier” though, since the state that the school is located in – New Jersey – is on the verge of recreational cannabis legalization. But when 30 out of 50 states have passed some form of medical marijuana laws and 10 states have totally legalized cannabis for adult use, can Rutgers or New Jerz really be outliers?
The truth is, once the NCAA loosened its rules on weed, most colleges followed suit and, like Rutgers, many campuses give students and athletes multiple opportunities to fail cannabis drug tests specifically, then they assist the athletes in seeking help if they need it in order to continue their college careers.
Treyous Jerrells played the brutal position of running back for Colorado State University and is now an outspoken advocate for the cannabis plant. He openly admits that he not only smoked cannabis during his playing career, but that he always practiced and played while stoned to the gills on some kush as his own way of dealing with chronic pain issues.
“I've seen players at CSU pop five or ten ibuprofens before practice. Daily. You think that's good?” asks Jerrells. “Over the course of two, three years, that's eating your liver away,” he continues, “I'm not ashamed of what I did."
Though the NCAA appears to be leaning toward abandoning cannabis drug testing altogether, they are still not encouraging its use, and they still don’t quite get it.
Check out this infographic they proudly point to:
Now consider these 5 words:
Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps
But we can work on educating them as soon as the stigma is lifted, and the NCAA would be setting a huge and potentially historic precedent if they can come to terms with cannabis before the rest of our major sports organizations catch up to them.