Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone
Recording artist and cannabis icon Snoop Dogg recently made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live with guest host and ESPN sports commentator Stephen A. Smith. When asked about marijuana use in athletes, Snoop passionately mentioned how sports leagues must stop testing players for marijuana and allow them to use the plant as an alternative to addictive prescription opioids.
As the interview proceeded, Snoop mentioned that “athletes can hang out with the rappers, but you can’t do what the rappers do because rappers don’t have ramifications for what they do.” Furthermore, Snoop went into detail on the effect of cannabis versus opioids in athletes, stating:
“Leagues should relax their marijuana policies because what happens is a lot of times these athletes take these pills and they get addicted to these pills, and it still doesn’t give them the relief that they need as far as with the pain or whatever they’re going through.”
“Through the CBD, through the THC, through the marijuana, through the cannabis, they’re able to find relaxation and get the medical treatment they deserve without having those later side effects, so I push for that in sports,” Snoop said.
Marijuana testing amongst athletes quickly became a hot topic after the suspension of U.S. runner Sha’Carri Richardson from participating in the Olympics after a positive marijuana test. Changing and reforming the rules around marijuana in sports is gaining serious traction, as Richardson’s situation shines a necessary light on why athletes are being penalized for using a plant that’s continually being legalized for recreational and medical use.
After Richardson’s case, USA Track & Field expressed that “international policies on cannabis punishments for athletes should be reevaluated.” While the U.S. Anti Doping Agency mentioned a similar notion, saying how “the rules on marijuana for international athletes must change,” alongside White House press secretary suggesting that “it may be time for a reevaluation of the cannabis prohibition.”
The NFL made a significant change to drug testing policies, resulting in NFL players not being suspended from games over positive tests for any drug, not only marijuana. Similarly, the MLB removed cannabis from the league’s list of banned substances in 2019, with the sole rule of not working while under the influence.
The temporary NBA policy to not randomly drug test players for marijuana during the Covid-19 pandemic might become permanent. Instead, Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that the league would reach out to players who show signs of problematic dependency but not those who use cannabis responsibly.
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