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NCAA: Marijuana Not "Performance Enhancing," Proposes Reducing Penalties For Use

Just when you thought it couldn't get much weirder at the NCAA, comes now news that the Indianapolis is going to de-stigmatize ganja, at least a little bit. From Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports:

The penalty for a positive marijuana test was reduced from a full season to half a season. The Legislative Council forwarded the measure. It is expected to breeze through approval, meaning each positive after Aug. 1 will, in the words, of the University of Texas make it more likely violators will be subject to "campus intervention."

I'm not quite sure why the NCAA, who's main focus is competition, would have a penalty for marijuana at all. Honestly, that is best left to law enforcement and the schools. If marijuana is not a PED, then the consequences to competition are non-existent, and I really think that's what the NCAA should be in the business of focusing on.

Rehab instead of suspension. That's a reflection of the nation's changing mores. Marijuana is still illegal in the majority of states but decriminalization is coming. That doesn't mean you have to agree with it. It means that placing pot in the same category as a steroid doesn't make sense.

I think this is right, at least in the last sentence. Decriminalization may or may not be coming, and frankly, it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. But if the NCAA would get out of the morality business when it comes to things like substances and stay in the business of making sure competition is fair and not tainted by PED's, I think it would be better for everyone. After all, we don't test regular scholarship students for marijuana, so why should student-athletes be singled out? I think the NCAA should simply stop testing for marijuana altogether, and let usage of that be dealt with legally and/or by the colleges themselves.

Is it just me, or is this really ironic when taken together with the recent change in meal policy? The NCAA — easing up on pot and the munchies associated with it. Kind of funny.