NCAA football needs to engage in the marijuana discussion, especially if the NFL is opening up a little to it. A recent poll of college football coaches resulted in a pretty negative perspective om cannabis though.
The possibility that cannabis has medical benefits that could help players break away from opiate-based painkillers does not seem to be much of a consideration even though the NFL is now actively researching the benefits and drawbacks of medical marijuana for professional players. Have you accepted medical marijuana’s benefits enough that college players using it would be acceptable?
Marijuana is slowly but surely being legalized across the United States — either for medicinal or recreational use. But the NCAA — and individual universities — still test college athletes to determine whether they smoke weed and punish them accordingly. Yes, even in states like Colorado where marijuana is legal. That led us to ask coaches, under the condition of anonymity, to share their stances on marijuana and whether players should still be punished for using it.
Pot has been called the new six pack. Outrageous? Apparently not to the Candid Coaches.Our respondents reflect society. Marijuana is becoming more socially acceptable. Slightly more than half the states — 26 — have legalized marijuana at least in some broad form. That 35 percent of our coaches believe pot should be legalized nationwide is more than a trend.
You see, it really doesn’t matter what your politics are. The change is coming. The NCAA has been testing for drugs for decades. Marijuana is just not that big a deal anymore.
Maybe the association woke up to the incongruity of testing itself. The hit rate for NCAA drug positives remain in the 2-3 percent range. If you think only 2-3 percent of players have illicit substances in their systems then you’re as dumb as the testers themselves. To get caught you either have to be stupid or sloppy. The science of masking drug use has always been ahead of drug testing itself.
Then there is the drug itself. Marijuana is not performance enhancing. Anything but. The NCAA said so in 2014 in one of the most progressive statements the association has ever made. “Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature …”
Perhaps that’s why an amazing 18 percent of the Candid Coaches said either marijuana should not be tested for any longer or players should not be suspended for using it. Times truly have changed.
It’s important to note in this survey that the minority of voters on both questions were the most passionate.
It’s both a common sense and ethical argument. If a regular citizen can posses and consume pot, why can’t a college football player?
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