The NCAA decided to alter its punishment for players who test positive for marijuana. The organization announced Tuesday that they no longer consider pot to be a “performance enhancing drug” and will lessen the suspension from a whole season to half a season if players test positive.
The NCAA’s Legislative Council officially determined that, “street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation.” The change will go into effect starting August 1, reports CBS Sports.
Big sports schools like the University of Texas and USC have said they will push the idea of school intervention and rehab for players who test positive. USC specifically said they would like to start treating positive test results for marijuana the same as “academic fraud.”
This ruling is a logical continuation of the change in social outlook on marijuana. As many states are decriminalizing weed, and even making it legal for non-medical uses, the NCAA amending their drug policy makes sense.
The NCAA began mandatory drug testing in 1986 and only 1% of players tend to test positive for any substances. Sitting out half a season is still a detriment to many athletes, however it may hike up positive test results by a little.