Spice - a substance many WWE wrestlers are apparently fond of. (Wikimedia Commons)
Bryan Alvarez reported in today's subscribers only Wrestling Observer radio show and later for free in his site's daily news update that WWE has quietly changed their Wellness Policy again. This time they've added synthetic cannabis, which is sold under various brand names like K2 and Spice, to their banned substances list, and test failures will be treated in the same manner as marijuana, those guilty will be subject to a $2,500 fine.
Apparently a lot of WWE wrestlers are very upset about this change, given that this was their solution to the company's crackdown on pot usage. However, from a corporate standpoint this was a move WWE had to make, as the drug was temporarily banned three months ago by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), while they study the effects of the drug in more detail and consider whether a permanent ban is necessary. Moreover, the move should also be commended from a wellness standpoint, as these synthetic variants of marijuana may turn out to be more dangerous than the real thing. Indeed, it is already known that abuse of synthetic cannabis can cause side effects not generally found with marijuana like heart palpitations and vomiting.
This continues the trend of WWE tightening their Wellness Policy over time and adding more drugs to their banned substances list. Nine months ago, perhaps far too belatedly, somas were added to their banned substances list, even with a prescription. This came just days after Matt Hardy flipped out on Twitter, began posting strange videos on YouTube where he looked wasted and was pulled by WWE from the end of their European tour for being in no condition to perform. At the time that was reported to be no coincidence.