NCAA president says drug policies unlikely to change with legalization of marijuana

by Nickalas Tabbert

NCAA President Mark Emmert doubts that college sports’ governing body will relax its drug standards for student-athletes now that two states have legalized recreational marijuana use, The Associated Press reported.

“There hasn’t been any discussion to that effect, and I would be surprised if there was an interest in doing that,” Emmert said Wednesday.

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use after approving ballot measures Tuesday. Marijuana is considered a banned substance by the NCAA.

“Our policies are our policies now,” he said, “and I would be surprised if they change.”

The NCAA released a study last January that said more than 25 percent of college football players acknowledged in 2009 that they had smoked marijuana during the previous year.

Emmert, who grew up in Washington, served as president of his alma mater, the University of Washington, from 2004-2010 before joining the NCAA. He said the topic of marijuana use would not stir much interest among college and university presidents.

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “It would probably be inappropriate to speculate.”