Even in an age of wider-spread cannabis legalization, testing positive for THC can still be detrimental, depending on who you are.

Because not everyone is on the same page yet, and neither are policies.

In many places, losing one’s job because they tested positive for THC isn’t a possibility because of updated laws and policies.

But with non-legal states and intolerant entities, the consequences of cannabis use are still a reality.

In professional athletics, there is a lack of overarching rules regarding personal use other than “don’t do it.”

In the track & field world, an athlete received a suspension recently after testing positive for THC.

Yesterday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that it had suspended 23-year-old Tara Davis-Woodhall for failing a drug test.

Davis-Woodhall’s one-month suspension began on March 21.

USADA says Davis Woodhall’s failed sample was collected at the 2023 USATF Indoor Championships on February 17, 2023.

Under the rules, Davis-Woodhall also had to forfeit her winnings from the day, including points, prizes, and medals.

Athlete THC use is prohibited under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the World Athletics anti-doping (WADA) rules.

According to the rules, athletes can receive a reduced three-month sanction if they can prove their use was out-of-competition and didn’t affect performance.

USADA says athletes can further reduce penalties by completing an Agency-approved treatment program.

USADA reduced Davis-Woodhall’s sanction to one month because her use was out-of-competition and unrelated to performance.

Davis-Woodhall also completed a substance abuse treatment program for her cannabis use.

“In an effort to aid athletes, as well as support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them,” states a USADA press release. “SADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to file and update athlete Whereabouts, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.”

According to USADA, WADA seeks input every year for annual updates to its prohibited substances list.

USADA says it continues to implore WADA to treat cannabis more fairly to identify true in-competition use.

On its website, USADA provides instruction regarding prohibited substances and testing to help athletes, parents, and coaches better-understand policies.

Among the resources are a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport handbook, and periodic alerts & advisories.

By Benjie Cooper

Raised on geek culture, Benjie has been in cannabis news since 2014, and a consumer since long before that. Before starting CannaGeek, he wrote for the Candid Chronicle and co-hosted the Nug Life Radio Show.