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Marijuana legalization won't change anything for NCAA athletes in Washington

Even if marijuana is legal, that doesn't mean that players won't see NCAA repercussions for using the drug.


Voters in the states of Washington and Colorado approved the use of marijuana recreationally on Tuesday, and since then many have wondered, both seriously and tongue-in-cheek, how this would affect NCAA athletes. Many questioned if the students would still face sport-related punishment for using marijuana if they no longer face legal ramifications.

SB Nation's SEC blog Team Speed Kills examined this question and found a very clear answer. Athletes will still face suspension if they test positive for the drug, as it will join many other legal substances currently banned in college athletics. As TSK points out, the NCAA can ban whatever they feel necessary:

If the NCAA decides to keep marijuana verboten even after the whole country decides to legalize it, then athletes can get suspended for it. That's perfectly within its powers to do.

TSK also brings up the point that most are looking at with regards to a state legalizing marijuana: It is still illegal under federal law, which reigns supreme.

The law certainly faces an uphill battle and will likely face difficult battles in federal court. Even if it is upheld in the end, don't expect the NCAA to follow suit and take marijuana off their banned substances list.