NCAA committee recommends dropping marijuana from banned drug list, turning focus to PED testing


On Friday, an NCAA medical panel called for the removal of marijuana from the organization’s banned drugs list. The Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports recommends shifting focus to testing for performance enhancing drugs. 

The committee intends to seek support from the NCAA Board of Governors to temporarily stop testing for cannabis at NCAA championship events while legislative action is considered.

While the committee’s recommendation marks a major milestone in the battle to stop marijuana testing for college athletes, the process still has several major steps before it can become official. All three divisions NCAA competition must draft and pass legislation before any permanent changes could take effect. 

The NCAA panel’s proposal comes after last year’s Summit on Cannabinoids in College Athletics, which concluded Marijuana and its byproducts were not performance enhancing drugs. The summit also reccomended a policy of “harm reduction” when it comes to cannabis. According to the NCAA’s press release, additional rationales included:

Focusing on testing for substances that provide an unfair advantage by enhancing athletic performance.Shifting toward a harm reduction philosophy for cannabis, similar to the approaches taken with alcohol.Realigning toward institutional testing and how that testing supports/enhances campus efforts to identify problematic cannabis use.Educating student-athletes on the health threats posed by contemporary cannabis and methods of…..

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