Know Your Herbs

NCAA Committee Shows Support for Removing Cannabis From List of Banned Substances

On June 16, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) released a statement regarding its support of removing cannabis from its list of banned substances.

The NCAA is governed by three divisions: Division I, II, and III. According to a press release, CSMAS met in Indianapolis last week by a referral of Divisions II and III, asking them “to further consider the [NCAA’s] cannabis policy and whether NCAA drug testing should be limited to performance-enhancing substances.”

In order for cannabis to be removed from the NCAA substance list, Divisions I, II, and III must introduce and adopt legislation. This most recent update was motivated by the 2022 Summit on Cannabinoids in College Athletics that was held in December 2022. Ultimately, the consensus stated that “cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug and that a harm reduction approach to cannabis is best implemented at the school level.” 

CSMAS’s Rationale leading up to this recommendation includes: a focus on testing for substances that enhance athletic abilities and provide an unfair advantage to competitors, embracing harm reduction philosophy similarly to how alcohol is approached, and educating student athletes on health impacts of cannabis, among others. It also stated that in considering changes to the association’s current cannabis policies, it also supports “a comprehensive communication and education campaign that provides guidance to the membership about cannabis.”

The committee also adopted a trace level threshold for the metabolic modulator GW1516 (also known as cardarine or endurobol) to be less than 0.1 nanograms per milliliter (npm).

The NCAA Mental Health Advisory Group met for the first time in December 2022, and is working on an update for a NCAA Mental Health Best Practices document. Brian Hainline, NCAA’s chief medical officer, explained the importance of mental health support for athletes. “Since my time at the NCAA began in 2013 and the initial NCAA Mental Health Task Force, the mental health and well-being of student-athletes has been a consistent topic and top priority,” said Hainline. “The Mental Health Advisory Group is part of a continuous effort to strengthen our programming and educational resources for members and student-athletes.”

CSMAS shared that it has reviewed an early draft of the Mental Health Advisory Group document and stated its preliminary support. According to the June 16 announcement, the Mental Health Advisory Group will continue to work on its final updates for CSMAS sometime this year, with the expectation of making the updates available between 2024-2025

In February 2022, CSMAS announced that it would be increasing the THC threshold for a positive cannabis drug test from 35 npm to 150 npm, which was done to match that of the World Anti-Doping Agency. “Reconsidering the NCAA approach to cannabis testing and management is consistent with feedback from membership on how to better support and educate student-athletes in a society with rapidly evolving public health and cultural views regarding cannabis use,” Hainline said last year. “Marijuana is not considered a performance-enhancing substance, but it remains important for member schools to engage student-athletes regarding substance use prevention and provide management and support when appropriate.”

Other sports agencies and associations are also moving forward with improved cannabis policies as well. In April, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced that they are considering removing cannabis from its list of banned substances for players, and plan to open up possibilities for players to invest in cannabis companies as well.

Also last month, the Chicago Cubs became the first MLB team to partner with a CBD company called MYND Drinks. “We’re proud to be the first club to partner with a CBD company, but what was more important to us was making sure that the brand was the right fit,” said Alex Seyferth, Chicago Cubs Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “MYND DRINKS is a Chicago-based company that promotes overall wellness and helps ease the stressors of everyday life, just like a Friday 1:20 game at Wrigley Field.” The partnership includes signage at Wrigley Field and other marketing.

The post NCAA Committee Shows Support for Removing Cannabis From List of Banned Substances appeared first on High Times.

Source: Hightimes

Nate Diaz Denied Pot Exemption for Drug Test Ahead of Jake Paul Fight

Nate Diaz and Jake Paul will face off in the boxing ring on August 5 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The eight-round pay-per-view (PPV) event on Showtime is Diaz’s professional boxing debut following his decorated career in mixed martial arts (MMA) as a UFC fighter.

Diaz was denied a request for an exemption from the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR). The TDLR has a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis use, but Diaz’s manager Zach Rosenfield requested an exemption. 

Questions arose whether the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA)—an organization that provides anti-doping practices and programs in boxing and mixed martial arts—may supersede the TLDR, MMA Fighting first reported. A TDLR spokesperson told Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting that Diaz will be subject to the same rules as everyone else in combative sports.

For the time being, it looks like Diaz will still be screened for THC.

“We will be working with VADA on testing prior to the fight and will be in compliance with all VADA rules, as well as the rules and regulations set forth by TDLR,” Real Fight, Inc. President and Diaz manager Zach Rosenfield told High Times.

Many professional athletes know what they can and cannot get away with regarding drug testing for pot, and the timing involved. “We gonna be testing,” Diaz told reporters at a press conference, referring to the drug test sample. “There’s a lot of weed in [my system]. There is.”

Diaz taunted Paul on Twitter, to which the former YouTuber fired back. “You speaking to me Nathan?” Paul said, responding to Diaz’s tweet. “We haven’t forgotten that you tested positive for steroids. You and your boyfriend Connor are juice heads. Let’s do 15 rounds and see how good those cannabis corroded lungs are. VADA going to be coming to Stockton to slap you up.”

If it were a UFC fight, the request might have resulted in a different outcome. The U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) adopted guidelines to no longer punish UFC fighters when THC is detected in a drug test in 2021.

In addition to mandatory drug tests from TDLR, Diaz and Paul will likely provide samples to the VADA both before and after their boxing match in Dallas.

Everything is on the line, at least for Paul’s boxing career. A surprise knockout by Tommy “The Truth” Fury on February 26 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, cost a lot of bettors money. That makes Paul 6-1 in the boxing ring, beating AnEsonGib, Nate Robinson, Ben Askren, and Tyron Woodley twice.

Paul has been subject to drug tests multiple times since his transformation from a YouTube star (along with his brother Logan) to boxing. Paul did not like a question during an interview ahead of the Diaz fight by a reporter who suggested he is not destined for the Hall of Fame.

“See, I’ve done more for the sport than any boxer in current history,” Paul said. “What has Floyd Mayweather done for women’s boxing? The list goes on. I’ve changed the whole entire game, brought a new 70 million followers to the sport and put on bigger pay-per-views than some of these Hall of Fame guys. Ryan Garcia-Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, 800,000 pay-per-views. Me vs. Tommy, 830,000. So, you wanna talk about Hall of Famers? You wanna talk about resume? Yeah, I’m building it up, buddy. I just got started in this game. This is my eighth fight and I’m fighting Nate Diaz, one of the biggest MMA fighters in history. So, yeah, that’s my resume.”

Diaz and his brother Nick have spoken out regarding pot reform for years. The two eventually launched Game Up® Nutrition, a plant-based wellness company providing products loaded with cannabinoids, adaptogens, and superfoods.

Over a decade ago Nick told the Los Angeles Times his cleansing method before a drug test. This followed a technical knockout (TKO) win over Frank Shamrock back in 2009, who is also an outspoken cannabis advocate.

The post Nate Diaz Denied Pot Exemption for Drug Test Ahead of Jake Paul Fight appeared first on High Times.

Source: Hightimes

Russia Extends Brittney Griner’s Detention by Two Months

WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner will be held in a Russian prison on charges of possessing cannabis vape cartridges until May, according to information provided by the state media outlet on Thursday. Griner was taken into custody last month at an airport near Moscow after customs officials reportedly found the cannabis oil cartridges in her luggage. The Olympic gold medalist has been detained in Russia since her arrest.

On Thursday, Russian state news agency TASS reported that the Khimki City Court of the Moscow region had ruled to detain Griner for at least two more months as the case is investigated, according to a report from the Daily Mail.

“The court granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of U.S. citizen Griner’s detention until May 19,” the court ruled.

Griner is a seven-time WNBA All-Star center and has played for the Phoenix Mercury since 2013, including the team’s 2014 league championship squad. She has also won the Olympic gold medal with the U.S. women’s basketball team twice.

Griner has played seven seasons of professional basketball in Russia during the winter, a common practice among WNBA players. She earns about $1 million per season to play in Russia, about four times the salary she earns playing for Phoenix. On January 29, Griner played her most recent game with her team UMMC Ekaterinburg before the Russian league took a two-week break for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

WNBA Star Arrested Last Month

The Russian Customs Service reported on March 5 that an American women’s basketball player had been detained after cannabis vape cartridges were discovered in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. Griner was not identified by name and the date of the arrest was not specified. The customs service also released a video that appears to depict Griner making her way through an airport security checkpoint.

TASS subsequently reported that the arrested player was Griner. Although the date of Griner’s arrest was not announced, media outlets reported that she has been in custody since February. After news of the arrest broke, the WNBA and the players’ union expressed support for the star player.

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full support, and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States,” the league said in a statement after Griner’s arrest was announced by Russian media.

TASS reported on Thursday that Griner is being held in an undisclosed Russian prison pending investigation of the case. The news agency also said that Ekaterina Kalugina of the human rights watchdog group Public Monitoring Commission, a semi-official body with access to Russian prisons, had visited Griner. Kalugina reported that Griner was doing well and being held in humane conditions.

Kalugina further reported that Griner has accepted her detention and was being held in a cell with two other women with no prior convictions who are also being held on drug-related charges. Griner’s only issue, she said, was that the prison’s beds are too small for the 6’9” basketball star.

“The beds in the cell are clearly designed for a shorter person,” Kalugina told TASS.

The human rights worker also said that U.S. authorities have not yet visited Griner in Russia, which invaded its neighbor Ukraine on February 24, plunging the region into a humanitarian and diplomatic crisis.

“In addition, for an unknown reason, the U.S. consul does not come to [see Griner], although the administration of the pre-trial detention center is ready to create all conditions for a visit,” TASS quoted Kalugina as saying.

Griner’s time in custody is being made easier by the women being held with her, the report continued.

“[Griner’s cellmates] also had no previous convictions and are charged with drug-related [offenses],” said Kalugina. “They speak English and help Griner communicate with the prison administration.”

“They helped her order books: she reads F. M. Dostoevsky and [a] biography of the members of the Rolling Stones,” she continued.

Uproar Over Griner’s Arrest

Griner’s arrest has led to an outcry from politicians and celebrities around the globe. Democratic Representative Colin Allred of Texas, the basketball star’s home state, said on March 9 that he was looking into the circumstances of Griner’s arrest.

“My office has been in touch with the State Department, and we’re working with them to see what is the best way forward,” said Allred, as quoted by ESPN. “I know the administration is working hard to try and get access to her and try to be helpful here. But obviously, it’s also happening in the context of really strained relations. I do think that it’s really unusual that we’ve not been granted access to her from our embassy and our consular services.”

American Iranian journalist Jason Rezaian was detained in Tehran by the Iranian government in 2014 and held in a notorious prison for 544 days, finally being released in 2016. He said that he sees similarities in his case and Griner’s.

“It’s the most audacious hostage taking by a state imaginable,” Rezaian told CNN. “I know from my own case that the supposed charges against me were not based in anything like reality, and they were used to perpetuate a narrative about why I was being held.”

The post Russia Extends Brittney Griner’s Detention by Two Months appeared first on High Times.

Source: Hightimes

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