An NCAA committee is recommending that the governing body of college sports remove marijuana and related substances from its list of prohibited drugs, according to a Friday afternoon release.
The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports cited “extensive study informed by industry and subject matter experts” as the basis for its recommendation.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 38 U.S. states, while recreational marijuana is legal in 23. Every state that has legalized recreational marijuana has done so in the past 12 years.
Since then, several sports leagues have re-evaluated their approach to policies governing the drug. MLB removed marijuana from its “drugs of abuse” list in December 2019, and the NBA nixed marijuana testing in its latest CBA.
The NCAA gave threefold reasoning for removing cannabis products from its list of banned substances: “The ineffectiveness of existing policy,” “the role of the NCAA drug-testing program to address only performance-enhancing substances,” and “the importance of moving toward a harm-reduction strategy that prioritizes education and support at the school level over penalties.”