C.J Harris is a young football player who hoped to play the position of a walk-on defensive back for the Auburn team. However, he might not get the chance to play this season as he is no longer slated to play due to his application for cannabis (CBD) oil in the treatment of the epileptic seizures he has experienced for years.
According to WGXA, Harris started using cannabis oil for medical treatment in the year 2007 after suffering his fourth seizure. It was discovered that Harris started having epileptic seizures in his sophomore year of high school and he had to bear the debilitating effects of the disease until he started using cannabis oil. The seizures greatly subsided after he started using cannabis oil as medicine.
Unfortunately, his family insists that his use of cannabis oil is hindering him from progressing as a football player because the NCAA rules forbid players from using marijuana products. However, Auburn insists that it was his medical condition that was the main factor that influenced their decision to omit Harris from the roster. Auburn explains further that medical professionals were concerned that epilepsy would increase the risk of head trauma to C.J Harris. This is due to the physicality of American football.
In spite of the explanation provided by Auburn representatives, it is likely that the future prospects of C.J Harris, as a football player, would still remain bleak as long as he continues to consume a cannabis product. Marijuana remains a prohibited substance under the existing NCAA rules and athletes partake in routine NCAA drug tests. In case a player is found with traces of the cannabinoid THC, then the individual forfeits a half of his eligibility as a football player.
The prevailing view in the NCAA concerning marijuana is that it has undesirable effects on the health of a player. These effects include impairing the normal functioning of the respiratory system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system while diminishing perception, cognition, mental health, and motivation. Moreover, it is believed that marijuana decreases the drive of a player to perform, as well as lower the performance of players in various tasks. Even though NCAA drug policy grants special exceptions in the medical application for certain drugs, it still categorizes marijuana as an illegal drug and completely discourages its use. Such stringent rules regarding marijuana are common across all major leagues and the rules are enforced with varying levels of seriousness. The existence of these rules has not dissuaded some elite athletes from occasionally using marijuana to supposedly boost their health.
Athletic departments in schools including Auburn also enact their own policies regarding drug abuse among athletes. Schools are mandated to conduct their own drug tests. Debate continues to rage about whether it is fair to ostracize athletes with health conditions that force them to use cannabis oil products. Representatives of the NCAA assert that the organization continues to review its policies concerning marijuana.