POLL QUESTION – JULY 11
By ISM Staff & Contributors

SHOULD ATHLETES NO LONGER BE TESTED AND BANNED FOR MARIJUANA USE

I’ll bet a whole bunch of our readers had an idea as to what our POLL QUESTION would be this week.  After USA Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson will miss the Olympics in Tokyo after a positive test for marijuana led to a one month suspension, here’s the weekly query of our responders.

SHOULD ATHLETES NO LONGER BE TESTED AND BANNED FOR MARIJUANA USE

As you will see below, the question was a little confusing to some of our panelists.  Blame that one on me and I’ll try to better in the future but, until then, enjoy.

ANDREW CIOFFI – ISM REPORTER
No.  Athletes should no longer be tested and banned for marijuana use. I believe that marijuana is a safer and better option than prescription pain killers. There are so many cases in the NFL, for example, of players lives being ruined due to pain killer addiction. I believe that it is something that is also not a performance enhancing drug, so why ban it? Pro athletes should be able to have the choice to put what they want in their bodies as long as it doesn’t give them an unfair advantage.

MIKE SCHULZE – CONTRIBUTOR
Sorry Leo but is a Yes for not testing or testing?    Maybe reword question for us old farts.

KAZ RIVARD – NFC NORTH CORRESPONDENT
If I follow the question accurately, my answer is:  No – athletes should not be tested/banned for marijuana use. It is already, or becoming, legal in many states and I personally feel it doesn’t add any sort of competitive PHYSICAL advantage. It may help with mood, stress, anxiety, etc. but it doesn’t add a physical advantage in my opinion.

DAVID ALEXANDER – AFC WEST CORRESPONDENT
We’ve already seen efforts by some pro leagues to limit when athletes are tested and what a positive test is worth.  11 states have legalized recreational use.  35 states now permit medical marijuana usage. 26 states have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.  Until there is Federal action to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs, we will have to deal with confusing laws.
LEO HAGGERTY – ISM EDITOR
This is a tough one especially if you look at the legal ramifications.  How can you test and ban an athlete, especially in a state where marijuana use has been legalized, when they are not breaking the law?  It’s time for all the national and international sports governing bodies to get together and “grow a pair” and make a final decision on whether weed is a performance enhancing drug.  My personal opinion is marijuana is not in that category and should not even be on the testing list for banned substances.