Colleges are looking for new, more progressive approaches to dealing with stoned jocks.

When it comes to marijuana use amongst college athletes, the NCAA has always acted like the stepdad who thinks your real dad's motorcycle is "unsafe, uncool and unwarranted." The association has a rich and fulfilling tradition of suspending college players for recreational and performance-enhancing drug use — but now, a new investigation by the Associated Press has found that at least one-third of Power Five conference schools are easing up restrictions on stoner athletes.

Also according to the report, punishments are being eased up on other recreational substances as well, like molly, that are picked up on random drug screenings.

Of the 57 schools the AP analyzed, 23 have reduced penalties for drug use since 2005. Ten schools have separate, less stringent policies addressing only marijuana infractions, and five schools in the Pac-12 don't suspend athletes for as long as they once did.

The NCAA has been punishing its players for recreational and performance-enhancing drugs sine 1986. Typically, those who failed a drug screening at championship events and football bowl games were slapped with a brutal year-long suspension, and could face legal ramifications for their terrible marijuana smoking. However, in 2014, the banishment was reduced to just six months.

“Our competitive safeguards committee said we should decrease the ban because (athletes) really aren’t doing it (recreational drug use) because of cheating,” NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline tells the AP.

In fact, Hainline thinks drug use is such a small problem that he's pushing to end recreational drug testing altogether in the NCAA. He thinks recreational drug use is a “social issue, moral issue, health issue,” and not a cheating issue, which is why the NCAA shouldn’t penalize recreational drugs the same way as it punishes performance-enhancing drug use.

“The most important thing that I can’t emphasize enough is that as a society, we have to make a clear distinction between recreational drug use and cheating,” Hainline said.

Well isn't that a progressive thing to say! Looks like the higher-ups are finally catching on to the fact that drug use isn't as satanic as it was once thought to be. That, or the NCAA doesn't want to risk suspending its best athletes just because they blazed the dragon bong over the weekend.

Hainline's liberal, more empathetic view on drugs echoes that of our country's chill new drug czar, Michael Botticelli, the gay, ex-alcoholic drug policy leader who thinks drug use should be addressed as a health issue, not a criminal act. Read more about him here, and in the meantime, remember to give you friendly local college athlete any leftover New Year's shake you might have. Or, better yet: sell it. We're not out of this recession yet …