The NCAA's Progressive Stance on Marijuana: Banning No More

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is considering a significant policy shift - the removal of marijuana from its list of banned substances. This development is an indication of the cultural shift towards the acceptance of cannabis, both recreationally and medicinally, across various domains including sports.

The NCAA and Its History with Drug Testing

The NCAA initiated its drug testing program in 1986[1]. This program was geared towards promoting fair play and ensuring the health and safety of college athletes. However, with evolving attitudes and understandings of certain substances, particularly marijuana, there has been increasing pressure to revisit these stringent protocols.

NCAA Graph

Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports: A Game-Changer

The NCAA's Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) has taken a bold step, recommending the removal of marijuana from the NCAA’s banned drug list[2]. The committee argues that drug testing protocols should shift focus to performance-enhancing drugs, which more directly undermine the fairness of athletic competitions[3].

If approved, this policy change would not just be significant within the sports community, but would be seen as a reflection of the broader societal shift in attitudes towards marijuana use.

The Push for Change: Calls from Divisions II and III

Interestingly, the push for change was initiated by Divisions II and III. The members from these divisions requested the CSMAS to reconsider the NCAA's cannabis policy and to limit drug testing to performance-enhancing substances[9].

NCAA and Weed

Cannabis Tests: A Pause Until the Final Decision

Following the committee's recommendation, the NCAA has decided to halt cannabis tests at championships and other such events until a final decision is made, likely in the fall[4]. This temporary suspension of cannabis testing signifies the seriousness with which the NCAA is considering the proposed changes.

The Next Steps: Approval by NCAA Divisions

The proposal from the CSMAS marks a new chapter in NCAA's approach towards marijuana. However, the journey is far from complete. The proposal will need to be introduced and approved by all three NCAA divisions to take effect[11]. The anticipated decision is likely to come in the fall following discussions and gathering of input from members over the summer.

Impact of the Shift in Cannabis Policy

With growing acceptance and decriminalization of marijuana in many states, the NCAA's potential policy shift would be significant. This move would reflect the increasing tolerance and understanding of the substance, whilst reinforcing the focus on maintaining.

Sports and Weed

NCAA’s Game-Changing Move: Decriminalizing Marijuana for Athletes

The world of college sports is about to undergo a significant shift, with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on the cusp of making a groundbreaking move. A NCAA committee, specifically the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS), has recently recommended that marijuana should no longer be classified as a banned drug[2][4].

Overview of the NCAA's Drug Testing Policy

The NCAA began drug testing its athletes in 1986[1], looking for a broad range of substances that included both performance-enhancing drugs and recreational substances like marijuana. The punitive approach taken by the organization has been a source of controversy for many years, particularly as the cultural and legal attitudes toward marijuana have dramatically shifted.

The History of Marijuana in Sports

Despite growing acceptance of both medical and recreational marijuana use, the sports world has often maintained a hardline stance. Promising athletes such as Sha'Carri Richardson, a U.S. sprinter, have faced disqualification and public disappointment due to positive tests for marijuana[1].

The NCAA's New Approach: A Focus on Performance-Enhancing Drugs

The NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) has suggested that the organization should direct its drug testing efforts solely towards performance-enhancing drugs, rather than substances like marijuana[3][4].

Understanding the Proposal

The proposal from CSMAS not only recommends halting marijuana tests at NCAA championship events until a final decision is made (likely in the fall of 2023), but also calls for an overhaul of the entire approach towards drug testing[4][6].


Under the proposed policy, the NCAA's approach to drug testing would shift significantly. The focus would shift from testing for a broad range of substances to concentrating only on performance-enhancing drugs[3][4].

This means that student-athletes would no longer face sanctions for testing positive for marijuana use, allowing them to use the substance in areas where it is legally permitted.

The recommendation by the CSMAS is not just about pausing marijuana tests. It signals a broader philosophical change. The committee seems to be acknowledging that the punitive approach towards marijuana does not align with its mission of promoting student-athlete well-being. The change is also in sync with the evolving societal attitudes towards the substance.

However, it's important to note that the proposal is not yet policy. The decision to remove marijuana from the banned substance list and overhaul the drug testing approach needs to be approved by all three NCAA divisions. The divisions are set to discuss and gather input on the proposal throughout the summer, with a decision likely to be made in the fall[11].

While we wait for the decision, it's worth contemplating the potential impact of this change. If approved, the new policy would significantly alter the landscape of collegiate sports, offering student-athletes greater freedom while emphasizing fairness in competition by focusing on performance-enhancing drugs.

Moreover, it would bring the NCAA in line with the growing number of states decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana use. The effects of this policy shift, therefore, will be keenly watched both within and outside the world of college sports.

Explore our vast collection of stash box accessories at LokkBoxx and start curating your perfect stash box today.

More Articles here:

Stash Box Essentials

Preserving Cannabis in your Stash Box

Cannabis Allergy

Navigating a Strong Marijuana High

Optimizing Mental Health with Weed

Cannabis is not a Gateway Drug

Your Top Choice for a Humidor Stash Box

Best Humidor Stash Box

- -

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical, financial, or legal advice. The use of cannabis and its derivatives may have risks and potential side effects, and individuals should always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using cannabis or any other substances for medicinal purposes. This article does not endorse the use of cannabis or any other substances for recreational purposes. The author and publisher of this article are not responsible for any damages or losses that may result from the use of the information presented herein. Readers are advised to do their own research and exercise caution when making decisions related to cannabis or any other substances.

Admire all your cannabis at once.