In a disappointing ruling, the NCAA has decided to rule CJ Harris, a high school football player in Georgia, ineligible to play D1 Football at Auburn University next season because he takes low THC-high CBD (cannabidiol) oil to manage his epileptic seizures, assisting him in quality of life. This ruling is particularly disappointing as in 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency has removed CBD Oil from its Banned Substances List, allowing athletes who play in leagues monitored by the International Agency to use CBD based substances to assist in their health and wellbeing during organized sports. Though CJ's medicine has less than 0.3% THC in it - which would mean that the medicine is non-psychoactive - the NCAA has decided that while taking this medicine, CJ will not be able to play D1 sports - a decision that is unfair to him as an athlete and as a person.
It is my hope that one day individuals like CJ will not be discriminated against because of his method of medicating, as CBD has shown significant promise in allowing individuals with medical issues to manage their symptoms in such a way which allows them to participate actively in society - just like with CJ Harris.
Read more about CJs story on CNN. Here are some excerpts from the article:
"A high school football player who takes cannabis oil to prevent his seizures has been ruled ineligible to play in college, a decision that has sparked outrage from advocates, lawmakers and sports fans.
A former Big Ten Coach of the Year sharply criticized the decision, saying "it's not fair to the kid" and urging the NCAA to reconsider.
C.J. Harris, a standout strong safety, helped lead Warner Robins High School to the Georgia state championship game and committed to play for Auburn University next season. But he was recently notified by Auburn coaches that the NCAA will not allow him to play if he remains on cannabis oil, according to CNN affiliate WGXA.
Harris planned to attend Auburn, his "dream school," as a walk-on next season. "I saw everything lining up perfectly for me," he told WGXA.
But that dream was shattered when he was notified by Auburn staff that the NCAA ruled him ineligible if he stayed on cannabis oil.
"You're taking something away from a kid who worked so hard his whole life to get there, and you're just taking it away because he's taking a medication that's helping him with a disability," father Curtis Harris told WGXA."