For a long time, the use of marijuana has been illegal, and athletes who get tested for it face harsh consequences. This made sense a few years ago because the drug itself was still illegal; if an athlete got caught using it, they had broken the law.
However, times have changed, and marijuana use has started to become legal in many states partly due to the rising number of individuals in possession of a Cannabis Medical Card.
So, if this is the case, should collegiate athletes still be punished for using marijuana?
Recently, because of the legalization of marijuana, many sports leagues have been considering taking it off the “banned substances” list. The MLB became the first major league to remove cannabis from its list of “drugs of abuse,” and it would not be a surprise if the NBA and NFL decided to follow suit.
Big-name athletes have already spoken in favor of unbanning the drug. It is yet to be seen whether or not their support will be able to convince the NBA and NFL offices to allow their players to take marijuana.
“Hopefully we can get past the stigma around it (marijuana) and know that it does nothing but make people have a good time, make people hungry, bring people together — that plant brings us all together. It’s a plant that’s put here for a reason, and that’s to bring us together. Hopefully it (removing marijuana from the banned substance list) happens, especially in the NBA,” said Brooklyn Nets superstar, Kevin Durant.
Durant’s point is that marijuana is a casual and de-stressing drug that allows people to have a good time. According to Durant, marijuana is not damaging to anybody and certainly should not be part of the banned substances list.
Marijuana, like alcohol, is a substance that many college students enjoy using for recreational and social purposes these days. A recent survey done in 2018 by the University of Michigan, reported that 43% of college students in the United States have used marijuana in the past 12 months.
This figure was the highest number they have seen in the last three and a half decades. This shows that marijuana is only getting more and more popular amongst college students.
And, in the long-run, smoking marijuana is shown to have significantly less damaging effects on the body than other legal substances, such as tobacco.
Is it really fair to prohibit athletes to experience this part of their college lives that so many of their peers seem to be enjoying? There are many reasons why people are fighting to legalize marijuana within the college sports industry.
However, drug and alcohol abuse is still a huge issue on college campuses in the US. Many students who constantly smoke weed, become addicted to it. With marijuana becoming legal, it is crucial that students do not abuse the substance.
If you are someone who is living with marijuana or another type of drug or alcohol addiction, there are many ways you can fight the addiction. These are steps you can take in order to combat a marijuana addiction.
1. Be aware of the problem and be able to admit to yourself that you need help.
This is not only the first step, but it is also the most important step. If you are not aware that you need help or are unwilling to receive help, then nobody will be able to help you no matter how hard they try or how experienced they are in dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.
Like with any problem in life, the first step is always identifying it as one. After all, how can you possibly fix a problem you aren’t even aware of yourself?
2. Reach out to people who are either in a similar situation and/or experts who can help.
Be able to find people you can talk to about your addiction. It gives you an opportunity to connect with someone and gives you the reassurance that you are not alone in battling the addiction.
It is often easier to go through something with somebody else rather than go through it alone. A supportive person with whom you can talk and share your experiences can be extremely valuable, even in situations that don’t include drug/alcohol addiction.
Asking an expert for help is also crucial. Those experts have helped a lot of people go through the exact same situation you are in.
They know what works and what doesn’t based on the experiences of others. Listen to the advice that experts give you and ask questions whenever you feel the need to.
How exactly can you find people to connect with and help you out? There are many support groups dedicated to helping people with marijuana addiction. For example, “Marijuana Anonymous” is a group that has a 12-step plan based upon faith in God and guidance through Him.
Though this is a faith-based support group, they have made it very clear that you don’t have to believe in order for it to help you. Because of the current global pandemic, meetings are hosted online with members all over the world. There are many other support groups with a similar set-up.
3. Act upon the advice you agree with.
The third and final step is to execute the advice you have received from experts and other support. This may include checking into rehab or clearing out any kinds of drugs/alcohol in your house.
Stay motivated to change for yourself. At the end of the day, people can try to help you as much as they like, but you are going to be the one who truly makes the change.
Compared to other illegal drugs, marijuana is not a dangerous drug. However, like any other drug or alcohol, abusing it could lead to something as serious as brain damage.
Although, for the most part, it is not a terrible thing to smoke marijuana from time to time, it is very important college students understand that addiction is dangerous, and should they reach that stage, their health depends on them immediately seeking help before it escalates to a life threat.