NCAA Considers Removing Cannabis from Drug Testing Protocols

A National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) committee indicated its support over the weekend for removing restrictions on the medical and/or recreational use of cannabis. Next, the committee will gather input from association members, with a final action expected in the fall.

Full story after the jump.

The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CMAS) last week indicated its support for removing cannabis from the association’s banned drug list and testing protocols. The committee will gather input from the membership this summer, with final action expected in the fall. The issue was referred to the committee by Divisions II and III.

The NCAA said the rationale for the change is due, in part, to the “consensus opinion that cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug and that a harm reduction approach to cannabis is best implemented at the school level.” The reforms would treat cannabis more like alcohol, the NCAA said.

For the cannabinoid class to be removed from the NCAA list of banned drugs, each of the three NCAA divisional governance bodies would have to introduce and adopt legislation, the organization said in a press release. The committee will also seek support from the NCAA Board of Governors to stop testing for cannabis at NCAA championship events while the action is considered.

CMAS also signaled its support for the development of a comprehensive communication and education campaign that provides guidance to the membership about cannabis.

Additionally, the NCAA plan an education campaign for student-athletes “on the health threats posed by contemporary cannabis and methods of use” and a “realigning toward institutional testing and how that testing supports/enhances campus efforts to identify problematic cannabis use.”


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