TROY LAWRENCE/THE VARSITY

There’s a societal stigma that surrounds marijuana usage, one that doesn’t stop beyond the locker rooms of various professional sports teams.

A considerable number of professional athletes have or currently use marijuana to assist with their athletic craft and alleviate pain after strenuous exercises and competitions. In the past, when professional athletes dabbled with the drug, the associated stigma and the punishments enforced against them resulted in ruined careers.

Even after October 17, professional athletes playing in Canada will still be unable to use the drug, as the global anti-doping community and various collective bargaining agreements have maintained cannabis on the prohibited list.

Many professional athletes have shared that they’ve used marijuana during their careers, citing pain management, anxiety, and insomnia.

According to The Huffington Post, “former NBA players Jay Williams and Cliff Robinson have been outspoken advocates for cannabis in the NBA with Williams estimating that 80% of NBA players are already self-medicating with the plant.”

However, the medical uses of cannabis are different from its recreational use, and it should not be considered in the same vein as taking other performance-enhancing drugs.

Playing fair must remain central to sports. Marijuana can have different effects on different people; some feel more relaxed, while others may feel more anxious, afraid, or panicked.

When it comes to marijuana usage for professional athletes, there might not be a potential fair use of weed beyond the medical purpose. While societal perspectives surrounding weed have shifted, when it comes to sports, there are some traditions of rules that still need to be enforced.

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