Why Is Cannabis Banned in the Olympics?

Olympics officials have said that they want to keep the games drug-free, but some athletes and observers question why cannabis is banned while other performance-enhancing drugs are not.

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The History of Cannabis in the Olympics

Cannabis has been used by humans for centuries, both recreationally and for medicinal purposes. The plant was actually legal in the United States until 1937, when it was banned under the Marijuana Tax Act. Despite its long history, cannabis remains a controversial substance – especially in the world of sports.

In the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, over 100 athletes tested positive for cannabis. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually a small fraction of the total number of athletes competing. So why is cannabis banned in the Olympics?

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is responsible for setting the rules around banned substances in Olympic competition. WADA’s mission is “to lead the fight against doping in sport in all its forms”.

While WADA allows athletes to use some drugs for medical purposes, they do not condone the use of recreational drugs like cannabis. In their eyes, recreational drug use goes against the “spirit of sport”.

WADA’s position on cannabis is based on two main arguments: first, that there is no evidence to support claims that cannabis has any performance-enhancing benefits; and second, that allowing cannabis use would send a message to young athletes that drug use is acceptable.

Critics of WADA’s stance argue that Cannabis should not be lumped together with other more dangerous drugs like steroids or human growth hormone. They also point out that many top athletes already use cannabis recreationally without any issues.

So far, WADA has not budged on their position banning cannabis in Olympic competition. However, as public opinion continues to change on issues like drug legalization, it’s possible that we could see this rule change in the future.

The Current Rule

The current rule, adopted in 2013, states that cannabis is banned in-competition only. This means that athletes are allowed to use cannabis out-of-competition, but not during the competition itself. The rule is based on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of banned substances, which includes both in-competition and out-of-competition substances.

Cannabis is listed as a banned in-competition substance by WADA because it can give athletes an unfair advantage. Cannabis can improve focus and concentration, and it can also increase stamina and reduce pain. All of these effects can help athletes perform better. In addition, cannabis use can lead to increased risk-taking behavior, which could potentially result in injuries.

Why Is Cannabis Banned?

Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It was even used in the early Olympic Games to help athletes recover from their injuries. So why is it banned in the Olympics? There are a few reasons. One reason is that cannabis can give athletes an unfair advantage. Another reason is that cannabis is a banned substance in many countries.

Health Concerns

Some of the initial%)% health concerns that resulted in the criminalization of cannabis were largely unfounded, such as the idea that it was a “gateway drug” that would lead to harder narcotics use.

Cannabis was first banned in the United States with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The act, which placed a tax on the sale of cannabis, was passed shortly after a wave of anti-cannabis propaganda led by Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

Anslinger’s campaign against cannabis was based on false information and racial prejudice. He claimed that cannabis caused violent behavior and insanity, and he used racist stereotypes to link cannabis use with Hispanic and African American communities. These false claims were used to promote the passage of restrictive laws against cannabis use, cultivation, and distribution.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug, placing it in the same category as heroin and LSD. This classification meant that the federal government considered cannabis to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value.

This classification has proven to be unfounded over the past several decades as more research has been conducted on the potential medical benefits of cannabis. In fact, many countries have now legalized or decriminalized cannabis for medical purposes.

Despite this growing body of evidence supporting the medical efficacy of cannabis, it remains classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States. This classification makes it difficult for researchers to study its medicinal effects and hampers physicians from prescribing it to patients who could potentially benefit from its therapeutic properties.

Performance-Enhancing Properties

Cannabis is generally prohibited in the Olympics because of its performance-enhancing properties. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) includes cannabis on its list of banned substances for athletes, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) follows WADA’s guidelines.

Cannabis is thought to improve athletic performance by helping muscles relax and reducing pain. It can also increase focus and concentration. Studies on humans have yielded mixed results, but some evidence suggests that cannabis can increase endurance and reflexes.

In addition to its potential performance-enhancing effects, cannabis is also banned because it is considered a health risk. Cannabis can impair coordination and judgement, and it can increase anxiety and heart rate. Some studies have also linked cannabis use to psychosis and schizophrenia.

The Future of Cannabis in the Olympics

Cannabis has been banned in the Olympics since 1976, but with the rise in popularity of CBD and THC products, that may soon change. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, while THC is the compound that gets users high. CBD is said to offer a variety of health benefits, including reducing anxiety and pain relief.

The WADA Rule Change

In September 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of banned substances. This was a momentous shift, as it meant that Olympic athletes could now use CBD without fear of punishment. This change was widely celebrated by the cannabis industry and athletes alike.

However, it is important to note that THC is still banned by WADA. This means that Olympic athletes who use cannabis products that contain THC (such as marijuana) could still face punishment. The WADA decision to remove CBD from the banned substance list was a step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done in order to fully legalize cannabis in the Olympics.

The IOC Rule Change

In September of 2019, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a monumental decision regarding the use of cannabis by athletes competing in the Olympics. The IOC, which is the governing body of the Olympic Games, amended its rules on cannabis to allow athletes to use cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. This is a major shift in policy for the IOC, which had previously banned all forms of cannabis from the Olympics.

The decision to allow CBD was based on recommendations from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which updated its own policies on CBD earlier in 2019. WADA is responsible for setting drug policies for Olympic sports, and its decision to allow CBD was based on scientific evidence that showed that CBD does not have any performance-enhancing benefits.

The IOC’s new policy on cannabis will go into effect for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It is not yet clear how this policy will be enforced, or what penalties will be given to athletes who test positive for THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. However, the IOC’s decision is a major step forward for athletes who want to compete in the Olympics while using cannabis.

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