January 18, 2012

College Athletes Shouldn’t Be Punished For Marijuana Use

January 18, 2012
marijuana on campus

marijuana on campusMarijuana Provides No Athletic Edge, So Why Do Colleges Punish Athletes That Use It?

Anyone who has gone to college knows that it is a magical time. You are learning, growing, experimenting, etc. College is a crazy time in most people’s lives because you are stuck between being a kid student and an adult. College students are ‘old enough’ to make up their own minds, yet still have to deal with a lot of rules that were present in high school. As any Students for Sensible Drug Policy Chapter will tell you, one of the worst rules that students have to deal with is marijuana prohibition on campus.

College athletes have even more rules to follow while studying. The Weed Blog’s home is the marijuana friendly city of Eugene, Oregon, which of course is the home of the University of Oregon. Anyone who followed college football the last couple of years is no doubt familiar with the former Oregon Duck football player Cliff Harris. It’s no secret that Cliff Harris is a big fan of marijuana. While Cliff Harris had many other bonehead induced problems, the main reason he was kicked off the Oregon Duck football team was because he was charged with possession of a personal amount of marijuana in California, which is not even a crime in California.

Even on the marijuana friendly campus at the University of Oregon, marijuana use by athletes is so taboo that a citation in another state is enough to bring down the hammer. I have to ask, why is it so bad for a college athlete to consume marijuana? As a coach, I would want my athletes to be in prime shape so I would ask why they were smoking, but the question would be the same for me as asking them why they ate sugar the day before when they should have been eating protein. Marijuana does not provide any edge to the college athlete, so what’s the big deal?

The blog ‘Bleacher Report‘ talked about the issue recently. “Then it was Auburn’s turn when the Tigers suspended running back Michael Dyer, who won the 2011 BCS Championship Game Offensive MVP over our beloved Oregon Ducks (TWB is a proud Oregon Duck Supporter). To this day, the stories are unconfirmed as to the exact reason for his sudden exit from the Tigers squad, but it has been reported that he allegedly tested positive for marijuana. But, wait, it isn’t over yet. Now, Dre Kirkpatrick from the BCS Champion Alabama Crimson Tide has been arrested on a marijuana charge. Has this become a college football problem?”

I don’t see how marijuana use could be a problem. If it’s marijuana use compounded with other irresponsible factors, then I could understand the argument. But simple personal marijuana use just by itself has no detrimental effect on anything, so why would it be a problem? If the athlete is driving under the influence of marijuana that’s one thing. But if the college athlete is at a college party, or an event, or in the privacy of someone’s home, I don’t see why they should be reprimanded simply because they test positive for marijuana use.

What do TWB readers think? Has your college had an athlete suspended for marijuana use? If so, how did you feel about it? Is there someone out there that feels marijuana has no place in college sports? If so, why?


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