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NCAA panel recommends marijuana be dropped from banned substance list

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An NCAA panel on Friday called for the removal of marijuana from the organization’s list of banned drugs and suggested the testing should be limited to performance-enhancing substances.


The Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports recommended halting cannabis tests at such events until a final decision is made, likely this fall.


Marijuana plants grow at a secured growing facility in Washington County, New York, May 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Legislation would still have to be introduced and approved by all three NCAA divisions to take effect. Administrators in Division II and III had asked the committee to study the issue.


The latest move from the panel comes as the U.S. is seeing more and more states allowing medical or recreational marijuana use. The committee increased the THC threshold needed for a positive test and recommended revamped penalties for athletes earlier this year. The threshold for THC was raised from 35 to 150 nanograms per millimeter, matching the World Anti-Doping Agency.


Signage at the headquarters of the NCAA in Indianapolis, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)



Last December, the committee noted that marijuana and its byproducts are not considered performance-enhancing substances.


The panel suggested stressing policies that focus on the potential threats from marijuana use and the need to reduce the harm and use of cannabis products instead of focusing on penalties.

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