Schools Ease Athlete Penalties For Marijuana

The AP found that some of the nations biggest universities, from Oregon to Auburn, have already eased their punishments as societys views on marijuana use have changed. Marijuana use among U.S. adults has doubled over a decade, according to government surveys, and recreational use is now legal in four states. The AP analyzed policies for 57 of the 65 schools in the Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, plus Notre Dame. Of the 57 schools, 23 since 2005 have either reduced penalties or allowed an athlete to test positive more times before being suspended or dismissed. Ten schools have separate, less stringent policies addressing only marijuana infractions. In the Pac-12, five schools do not suspend athletes for as long as they once did. At Utah, for example, a third failed test used to mean dismissal; now its a half-season suspension. Recreational use of pot is allowed for adults in Oregon and Washington but is against the rules at Pac-12 schools in those states. At Oregon, an athlete doesnt lose playing time until a third failed test; at Oregon State, a third failed test used to mean dismissal, but athletes are now given one more chance. At Washington, a third failed test used to be a one-year suspension but is now just 30 days.

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