Over 150 current and former athletes have signed a letter that’s been sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency, asking them to remove marijuana from its list of prohibited substances.
Retired NFL players Jake Plummer and Ricky Williams, famed boxer Mike Tyson and cyclist Floyd Landis are among the athletes who submitted the letter through Athletes for CARE, a nonprofit organization that advocates for marijuana research to treat a variety of ailments.
“Athletes for CARE is proud to have such a strong network of respected athletes campaigning for the removal of cannabis from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance list,” Anna Symonds, a rugby player and Athletes for CARE representative, said in a statement. “We’re also calling on fans to show their support online via our Change.org petition.”
The letter specifically asks for THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, to be removed from the list.
“We have found an improved quality of life through cannabis and natural cannabinoids, including significant therapeutic and wellness benefits, and these positives should be freely available to all other athletes,” the letter reads.
The release of the letter comes two days after recently retired NFL defensive end Chris Long said in a radio interview that he used marijuana throughout his career.
“Listen, if not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stressors of day-to-day NFL life,” Long said. “A lot of guys get a lot of pain management out of it.”
In 2017 the World Anti-Doping Agency removed cannabidiol (CBD) from their 2018 list of prohibited substances.
“Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited”, said the WADA. “Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance,”.
WADA’s threshold for THC is 150 nanograms per milliliter of blood.