Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Is weed the answer when it comes to pain?

Although many medical professionals do not consider marijuana a performance-enhancing drug, questions of the effect of marijuana on athletes – particularly for therapeutic and relief purposes – are just beginning to be addressed by researchers.
 Athletes – mostly retired professionals – in sports including football, hockey, and basketball have said that marijuana use helps to relieve years of trauma inflicted on their bodies. 
However, research remains in the early stages and nothing definitive about athletes and marijuana has been determined.
Legal marijuana use in Illinois will be restricted to people age 21 and older when it becomes legal Jan. 1, which means many Augustana College athletes, who are younger than 21, would not be legally eligible to try the drug either recreationally or to relieve the stress of athletics. 
Even if they were eligible, Augustana officials have decided not to allow marijuana on campus.
“On a federal standpoint, Marijuana is an illegal drug,” Augie athletic director Mike Zapolski said.
 “Now, different states are taking different approaches, and the laws in the state of Illinois are changing. But on Augustana College’s campus, our rules are not changing.”
The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that most college athletes who self-reported marijuana use used it for recreational purposes, not pain or anxiety relief.
The study found that more than 60 percent of the respondents used marijuana recreationally, while less than one percent said they used it to enhance performance.
The experiences with marijuana by Christina, a former Augustana athlete whose last name was withheld by the Observer to protect her identity, aligned with the journal’s findings.
“I know so many people who are dedicated to their sport and smoke,” she said, “and they never fail to perform any less.”

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Is weed the answer when it comes to pain?