ABC Recommends Lighter Cannabis Sanctions

Today the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports’ (the “ABC”) Medical Advisory Committee released their position noting that cannabis should be treated far lighter than other drugs when it comes to in competition failure.

It should be noted that lighter cannabis sanctions should be the norm as of this year by jurisdictions who follow true WADA standards as WADA has labelled cannabis and a few other substances as ‘substances of abuse’ noting failures for these drugs should be different from actual performance enhancing drugs.

While the ABC Medical Advisory Committee’s position is not binding on any specific regulator it certainly could be influential. The Committee noted (as reported on mixedmartialarts.com) as follows:

The ABC Medical Advisory Committee recommends that State and Tribal Commissions adopt the following policy regarding athletes who test positive for THC over 150 ng/ml which is the approved WADA level.
• Athletes first positive THC test over 150 ng/ml- fine of one hundred dollars ($100).
• Athlete second positive THC test over 150 ng/ml- fine of one hundred dollars ($100) plus the cost of the test estimated at two hundred and ninety-five dollars ($295).
• Commissions should use their own discretion when issuing fines for repeat offenders, such as doubling/tripling the fine of one hundred dollars ($100) plus the cost of the test estimated at two hundred and ninety-five dollars ($295). If
able, Commissions could also require multiple offenders to enroll in drug addiction treatment or counseling.

The ABC Medical Advisory Committee does not recommend or support the overturning of an athlete’s win if the athlete test positive for THC over 150 ng/ml nor the suspension of an athlete that test positive for THC over 150 ng/ml. The Committee further states that THC is not a performance-enhancing drug it is a performance suppressor and athletes who test positive for THC should not be punished in the same manner as an athlete that tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Dr. Paul Wallace
Dr. Don Muzzi
Dr. Nitin Sethi
Dr. Michael Schwartz
Dr. Wayne Lee

Brian Dunn, Nebraska Commission, ABC President
Andy Foster, Executive Officer California Commission


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