22 Jan Pot Consequences for College Athletes
Since the 1980’s, the NCAA has made it a point of policy to make sure that any marijuana abuse was not tolerated amongst its athletes or staff. This has involved mandatory drug tests, specifically for marijuana that have been conducted by the NCAA’s own medical staff. However, this may soon changes, as many in the organization are saying that marijuana use should be dealt with by the individual schools. This is because the organization is having to reckon with the fact that its policies actually haven’t been able to keep these athletes from using marijuana. Here’s some information on why this is happening…
1 in 5 college football players admit to using marijuana
Despite all of the NCAA and member school’s efforts to fight marijuana use, almost 20% of all NCAA athletes have admitted to using marijuana. The real number is likely even higher, as many athletes may not wish to disclose such information. This shows that the intense penalties that were being handed out before were not sufficiently reducing marijuana abuse amongst the athletes. On top of this, the athletes who have been kicked out of the NCAA for marijuana use likely continue to abuse the substance.
Schools penalizing less
As the NCAA has begun to take less of an active role in this issue, the individual schools have begun to penalize their students less, and the penalties that do exist are much less harsh than they were even just five years ago. For example, in 2005, most schools would dismiss a student from the team if they failed a third test for marijuana. Today, that penalty would merely be a 30-day suspension.
Positive effects of this
While no one wants to see marijuana abuse continue to climb, the new attitude and policy of top NCAA schools is geared around a changing mindset in the landscape of addiction healthcare. Rather than coming down hard on drug use, which has been a strong component of American drug policy for several decades, we are seeing a shift towards recognizing that addiction is a health problem that needs to be addressed. By changing these policies, the schools have begun to focus less on handing out harsh penalties that leave the substance abusing athlete with little to do but continue to use even more, and instead are offering to help these individuals with fight any substance issues they may be having.