WEED FEED / John Ross Ferrara / Monday, May 28, 2018 @ 7:28 a.m.

Weed Feed: Football Recruit Declared Ineligible by NCAA for Using CBD Oil to Treat Epilepsy


C.J. Harris, a would-be walk-on football player this fall at Auburn University, has been ruled ineligible to play for the school of his dreams by the NCAA because he takes CBD oil to treat epileptic seizures, CNN reports.

C.J. Harris playing safety for Warren Robins High School in Georgia, where he helped the team win a state championship. | Photos provided by C.J. Harris.

According to NCAA guidelines, athletes must not have any “illicit drugs” in their system. The NCAA lists THC among other drugs, like heroin, in this category.

CNN reports that the CBD oil Harris takes to treat his seizures, contains just 0.3 percent THC. And even though Harris hasn’t suffered a seizure since he was prescribed to take CBD by a doctor last year, WGXA reports that he was still told by Auburn university staff that the NCAA will not allow him to play if he continues to use the drug.

“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,” his father Curtis Harris told WGXA.

The ruling prompted a statement from the Epilepsy Foundation, calling for the NCAA to reconsider its decision.

“The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to supporting physician-directed care, and to exploring and advocating for all potential treatment options for epilepsy, including cannabidiol (CBD) oil and medical cannabis,” the foundation’s statement reads. “We urge the NCAA to review their existing guidelines on THC and explore possible exceptions to allow players under medical treatment, like C.J., the ability to fulfill their dreams of playing college football.”

WGXA reports that unless the NCAA overturns its decision, Harris will miss out on his opportunity to attend and play for one of the top schools in the country, and instead attend junior college where he can still play football.

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