The NCAA has been testing student athletes for marijuana’s THC metabolites since 1986. But thanks to a cultural swing in our freedom loving country, that intrusion of privacy could soon be ending.
While the suspension for drug use has historically represented the largest hammer in the NCAA’s toolbox, the sports administrators within the National Collegiate Athletic Association are now pushing back and are looking to switch tactics. Potentially eliminating the career-killing drug suspensions they’ve pushed for the past 29 years.
As marijuana reform cultivates its fast-growing roots throughout the country, with 23 states plus the District of Columbia having already legalized marijuana consumption in one form or another. The NCAA has been left to question their logic on testing for a recreational drug – particularly one that has no performance enhancing capabilities.
Seemingly tired of wasting of lives, money, and talent, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Monday that, “In January, the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports introduced a proposal that would change the association’s approach toward recreational drugs like marijuana. Instead of testing for the sake of punishment, the NCAA would work with schools to help educate athletes about drugs, deter athletes from using drugs and identify athletes who suffer from addiction.” Fearful of the unknown – that recommendation was initially shot down this past summer.
After not receiving enough support from the NCAA governing members, the proposal was sent back to the committee in June with the hopes the group could come up with more guidance on how the changes could be implemented.
Regardless of the plant’s fast-growing acceptance sweeping across the country, the use of marijuana is still considered highly illegal on our nations campuses and universities. Currently, schools are forced to comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. And those institutions of higher learning that fail to follow federal guidelines run the risk of losing government funding.
In the below video, Mitch McGary talks about testing positive for marijuana after helping Michigan to a Sweet 16 win over Tennessee. Facing a one-year suspension from college ball, McGary reflects on his decision to enter the NBA Draft, the aftermath of the drug controversy, and feeling both supported and ostracized by the public.
(Photo Courtesy of Al.com)
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