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Marijuana Effects on Athletes



    High level athletes like Kevin Durant, Conor McGregor, and Michael Vick have admitted to marijuana use. They’ve stated the positive effects marijuana has had on them, leading to many young athletes being interested in marijuana.  

Do you think athletes should use marijuana? 

    When asked if athletes should use marijuana, a freshman athlete stated, “I believe athletes shouldn’t use marijuana because it can affect an athlete’s performance and health in many different negative ways. Things like being lazy and slow come from smoking.”  

   A senior athlete added, “Marijuana can affect an athlete’s performance by making them have lower performance both mentally and physically.”  

   On the other hand, a junior athlete stated, “Its 50/50 on whether athletes should use it because many people have a different effect with different things. For some, marijuana can heighten their focus while for others, it can lower it.” 


How can marijuana affect an athlete’s mind 

   According to the official CDC website, short-term marijuana use can affect thinking, attention, memory, coordination, movement, and time perception. Long-term marijuana use can stunt developing brains and the CDC states, “Youth who use marijuana may not do as well in school and may have trouble remembering things.” 

    A senior male athlete stated, “Marijuana can affect an athlete’s mind in many ways; the most important way is motivation. Marijuana can take the motivation and drive out of an athlete.” 


How can marijuana affect an athlete’s performance/body? 

    According to the official NIH website, marijuana accelerates muscle fatigue, causing a reduction in exercise duration. It also states, “Changes in appetite and food cravings because of marijuana use can undermine nutrition and affect body mass. Thus, smoking marijuana can have detrimental effects on athletic performance and these negative effects should dissuade athletes from using marijuana.” This shows how marijuana decreases performance in sports and can add unwanted body fat to an aspiring athlete’s body, putting them out of shape and lowering their chances of making it big. 


Should sports organizations allow marijuana? 

    There have been many controversial harsh marijuana bans of beloved athletes such as Nick Diaz of the UFC receiving a 5-year ban, and OJ Mayo of the NBA receiving a 2 season ban both due to positive marijuana tests.  This led to some changes.   

According to the article “Breaking Down the Cannabis Policies of Every Major North American Sports League” posted by Boardroom, sport organizations such as the NBA, MLB, NHL, UFC, and more do not punish for a positive marijuana test, and some of them do not even test for the drug at all. On the other hand, organizations like the NFL, MLS, WNBA, NASCAR, still punish for positive marijuana tests. 


How do different forms of marijuana affect athletes? 

    Different forms of marijuana can affect your body in diverse ways. According to the website for The Cleveland Clinic <>, synthetic marijuana produces the relaxation and altered perception that comes from normal marijuana, but also comes with psychotic effects like anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. On the other hand, edible cannabis takes 2-4 hours to fully kick in with a similar feeling to smoking cannabis.  


What is your experience with marijuana? 

A senior athlete had this to say when asked about his marijuana experience. “I smoked marijuana since I was 11 and quit at 17. When I quit, it was for sports. When I quit, I achieved a higher boost in my energy and my sports performance.”  

A freshman athlete also had to say, “I only tried marijuana once and I remember the day after I went to go play basketball with my friends, and I wasn’t playing bad. I was hitting my shots, but when it came to hustling, my energy and drive wasn’t there.

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