A walk-on at Auburn can’t play football as long as he’s taking cannabis oil to treat his epilepsy.
Georgia native C.J. Harris was diagnosed with epilepsy while he was a sophomore in high school after suffering a fourth seizure. The number of seizures he’s suffered is now in the teens, but he hasn’t had one since January of 2017, when he started taking cannabis oil to help treat his condition.
While the cannabis oil has helped Harris’ quality of life, it’s not going to help his college football career. Cannabis oil runs afoul of the NCAA’s banned substance rules. So Harris either needs to find a new way of dealing with his seizures — and potentially risk the seizures returning — or not play at Auburn.
Under NCAA guidelines, athletes are not permitted to have any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their systems. The cannabis oil Harris takes for his seizures contains less 0.3 percent THC according to the label. He won’t be able to pass an NCAA drug test while on the medicine.
According to the report, Harris is exploring junior college and NAIA avenues to continue his playing career depending on their drug-testing regulations and also looking at new medicines.
Given the number of things cannabis oil is used to treat, the NCAA would be wise to update its guidelines to allow players to take those types of medicines. But we all know how resistant the NCAA is regarding change. We don’t have our hopes up that Harris’ case will be the start of an NCAA shift.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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