Ask a Stoner: Is Cannabis Considered a PED in Sports Now?EXPAND
Westword

Ask a Stoner: Is Cannabis Considered a PED in Sports Now?

Dear Stoner: I understand why some sports leagues ban weed because it’s illegal, but I saw a fighter get in trouble for using weed, and it was labeled “performance enhancing.” So weed is a PED now?
Abe

Dear Abe: Professional sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA or MLB have their own collective-bargaining agreements and drug-testing policies that dictate how cannabis use among players is regulated, but competitors participating in fighting organizations like the UFC or international competitions like the Olympics follow the rules of their respective country’s anti-doping organization or the World Anti-Doping Agency.

You might be fast, but are you blazing?EXPAND
You might be fast, but are you blazing?
iStock.com/ersler

According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which follows WADA’s rules, cannabis can cause muscle relaxation and reduce pain after workouts while also decreasing anxiety and tension, “resulting in better sport performance under pressure.” WADA and the USADA also say that pot increases focus and risk-taking behaviors, “allowing athletes to forget bad falls or previous trauma in sport, and push themselves past those fears in competition.” However, the organizations also cite “health risks,” and note that pot’s illegal status in most states and countries “does not exhibit the ethics and moral judgment that upholds the spirit of sport.”

They said it, not us.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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