NCAA Division I To Vote On Removing Marijuana From Banned Substances List For Student AthletesPosted by On

A new collegiate athletics proposal would remove marijuana from the list of substances included in drug screenings for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship competitions, with officials set to vote on the matter in June. Proponents say the approach is consistent with designing rules to focus on reducing harm rather than punishing student athletes.

The plan would build on a 2022 change that increased the allowable THC threshold for college athletes, aligning NCAA’s rules with those of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The latest proposal would effectively treat marijuana more like alcohol. While NCAA doesn’t intend for the change to promote cannabis use, the substance isn’t believed to give competitors an unfair advantage in sport.

“Cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug, and we determined that the drug testing conducted at NCAA championships should focus on substances that impact competitive outcomes,” Pat Chun, athletics director at Washington State and chair of the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, said in a statement last week. “To be clear, this does not mean that NCAA members condone or promote use of cannabinoids. However, rather than focus on testing and subsequently penalizing student-athletes who use cannabis, NCAA efforts should focus on a harm reduction strategy, similar to substances like alcohol.”

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