Skip to content

Legal marijuana use begins in Washington State, but NFL policy still bans it

People light up near the Space Needle after the law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect in Seattle, Washington Reuters

Last month, citizens in Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  Today, the law became effective in Washington.

While a potential showdown is looming with the federal government, given that marijuana remains a controlled substance via U.S. law, it’s for now permissible to wake and bake.  Or to bake at any other time of the day.

But beware, Seahawks players or any members of any visiting teams.  It remains against NFL policy to smoke marijuana, even though the policy arguably can be interpreted to allow smoking marijuana where doing so is legal.  So if you blaze in the birthplace of Starbucks and later test positive for cannabis, the fact that the smoking occurred in a location where smoking is legal won’t matter.

For all non-NFL players in Washington, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.  As Seattle police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said, “The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.”

NFL players in Washington can’t, unless and until the NFL and NFLPA agree to adjust the substance-abuse policy.

Permalink 40 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill, Seattle Seahawks
40 Responses to “Legal marijuana use begins in Washington State, but NFL policy still bans it”
  1. vbe2 says: Dec 6, 2012 8:36 PM

    Would the ban hold up to a legal fight? Suppose they banned cigarettes or cigars.

    If pot is 100% legal, and doesn’t give them an unfair competitive advantage, I don’t see it holding up to a law suit.

  2. seahawks4alltime says: Dec 6, 2012 8:46 PM

    The passage of legal weed laws in Washington state and Colorado is just the beginning.

    Federal laws will follow suit over time. The stage is set and the actors are gearing up for a performance of a lifetime. And it’ll be interesting to see the curtains close on this one.

    Weed is much less problematic that alcohol. I have no problem being on the road with people who smoke doobies. But alcohol is a completely different animal. Legalized it, at the federal level!

    As for the NFL, it would surprise me if they allowed it right away even if the federal government made it legal. I can’t smoke cigarettes at my work, but then again they don’t drug test me for cigarettes either. So, who knows.

  3. dgoens3109 says: Dec 6, 2012 8:46 PM

    I was surprised Marshawn Lynch did not announce his retirement today while roasting a bone in front of the media.

  4. rcali says: Dec 6, 2012 8:54 PM

    Now on the other hand NBA players….Light em’ up! Legal in that league.

  5. vbe2 says: Dec 6, 2012 8:55 PM

    @seahawks4alltime says:

    Dec 6, 2012 8:46 PM

    As for the NFL, it would surprise me if they allowed it right away even if the federal government made it legal. I can’t smoke cigarettes at my work, but then again they don’t drug test me for cigarettes either. So, who knows.
    =================================

    You can’t somke cigarettes AT your work, can you smoke them AT your home or in your car though?

    The NFL can ban pot AT the NFL workplace, but can they legally ban the legal activity in their players private lives?

    I say no, they can’t. But that’s a matter for a judge to deal with… in time.

  6. tjh9985 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:01 PM

    vbe2 says:
    Dec 6, 2012 8:36 PM
    Would the ban hold up to a legal fight? Suppose they banned cigarettes or cigars.

    If pot is 100% legal, and doesn’t give them an unfair competitive advantage, I don’t see it holding up to a law suit.

    ————-

    Those are the rules the players agreed to, AKA the CBA.

  7. ghjjf says: Dec 6, 2012 9:06 PM

    State law may make it legal but it’s still illegal under federal law. As for the league rules, drug test proves you have smoked but it doesn’t indicate if you smoked in a legal state (doesn’t exist) or an illegal one. Unless its completely legalized the league cannot change their rules.

  8. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:08 PM

    marijuana should be legalized and taxed in every state!! it was only prohibited bc of propaganda from the logging and paper industries as legal weed means legal hemp and that would replace wood use altogether as its renewable much quicker and is superior in everyway!!! only idiots that believe the drug war’s propaganda think it should remain illegal”!!

  9. manningbowl88 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:08 PM

    “The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.”
    _____________
    LOL thats hilarious

  10. peytonsneck18 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:09 PM

    man, i was stationed in bremerton wa. back in 95-97, too bad it wasnt legal back then, pretty depressing town for a naval base to be located

  11. folkcrusader says: Dec 6, 2012 9:14 PM

    Seattle will have a new NBA squad in no time renamed the Seattle Smoke.

  12. rajbais says: Dec 6, 2012 9:15 PM

    Diuretics are legal throughout the country, but are banned in all professional sports!!!

    There’s no crying about this!!!

    Diuretics = Steroids = HGH???

  13. seahawks4alltime says: Dec 6, 2012 9:27 PM

    “I say no, they can’t. But that’s a matter for a judge to deal with… in time.”

    I agree with you VBE2.

    It won’t be long before judges are asked to make ruling exactly of the type you are picturing, and then those rulings will get appealed, making their way through the system, ultimately to the supreme court and that’s going to be the pebble that starts the landslide.

    It’s only a matter of time.

  14. ndnut says: Dec 6, 2012 9:27 PM

    Don’t take shots at Seattle. No NBA team anymore.

  15. fluffybunny74 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:33 PM

    The NFL isn’t a public entity in terms of ownership or expectation; they can restrict whatever they see fit. Case in point, Adderall and ADD meds are legally prescribed but you still can’t take them without approved exception in the NFL.

    Here in Washington all the pot law change means is that we’re setting the country up to finally have a big fight over government restriction v. States’ rights.

  16. majbobby says: Dec 6, 2012 9:37 PM

    Go ahead and do it NFL players and take the suspension from the substance abuse program that your union collectively bargained.

    On a side no many jobs test against it. So is FT Lewis lighting up because it is legal. Sure if they want to face UCMJ.

  17. juliusanonymous says: Dec 6, 2012 9:44 PM

    Gotta love the Seattle Police Dept’s ongoing reaction to the new law. Their blog is especially entertaining.

    The only problem… by the time we legalized marijuana, I’m just like meh… who cares. Wish they would have done this when I was in my early 20’s.

  18. oneandonlyramsfaninpa says: Dec 6, 2012 9:45 PM

    there are a lot of things that are legal that NFL players can’t take cause of the NFL rules. just cause its legal doesn’t mean an NFL player can take it. how can so many fans not know this fact!?

  19. juliusanonymous says: Dec 6, 2012 9:47 PM

    OH, and the NFL does have the right to ban marijuana use among employees.

    The Supreme Court ruled years ago that private employers could have policies banning the use of alcohol and tobacco. I believe it was some airline company or something. All I remember is that the employees sued over the company policy that any drinking or smoking tobacco was forbidden and the Supreme Court ruled that it was okay for them to have that policy. And yes, that covered use while not at work.

  20. 52crabcakes says: Dec 6, 2012 9:50 PM

    It’s about time states start legalizing weed. Weed definitely does not enhance their performance on the field but may ease what football does to their bodies. Fire it up baby!

  21. abninf says: Dec 6, 2012 9:55 PM

    I don’t think players are being tested much for it anyway. Why else would players be getting busted with it on traffic stops in the middle of the season?

  22. dartwick says: Dec 6, 2012 10:30 PM

    That the NFL(or any other business) can ban you from using pot is directly a function of the CBA.

    The only possible challenge to it will be on whether or not the CBA still covers pot.

    There is no reason a business cant have behavior rules as long as they dont infringe on a specific protection or cical right granted by the government.

  23. matckeeper says: Dec 6, 2012 10:44 PM

    Well, that sucks for the Seahawks….as someone who lives in Seattle and isn’t opposed to the green from time to time, it is pretty awesome to live in a state not wasting millions to billions on a drug no more dangerous than alcohol.
    I wonder if the 12th man would be as loud if pot was legal and alcohol not??? Everyone would be in line for garlic fries and diet cokes instead of watching the Seachickens…well I would at least, but I’m a Pack fan.

  24. cwwgk says: Dec 6, 2012 10:57 PM

    Any suit filed against the NFL over this issue would get laughed out of court. The NFL is a private employer, it can set its own workplace rules. In addition, the players agreed to the ban. Absent fraud, the law does not recognize people who complain about something to which they agreed.

  25. bigbluecrew420 says: Dec 6, 2012 10:58 PM

    Welcome to the new world. Marijuana is a very effective medicine. About time.

  26. parasonic says: Dec 6, 2012 11:49 PM

    just bc it is legal the employees have agreed to not use it. if the wording in the CBA only says controlled substances then they have an argument especially if the US legalizes it. this is no different than the argument for legalization of all drugs. just bc they’re legal doesn’t mean employers will no longer drug test if they already do. or they might even add it to their policy if drugs are legalized. if you want the job gotta abide by their rules. no different than the current situation in the world.

  27. kash71 says: Dec 7, 2012 12:33 AM

    I also think the NFL can get away with this as long as it is illegal on a federal level. On the next election cycle in 2014, maybe consider voting for a candidate that will help you puff up in the safety of your own home.

  28. cynicalvision says: Dec 7, 2012 12:48 AM

    Today is a great day in the history of common sense.

  29. 49erforlife says: Dec 7, 2012 1:26 AM

    I see a flood of Free Agents wanting to sign with Seattle teams (NFL, MLB, MLS) in the neat future! And just imagine the college recruiting trips to UW!!

  30. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 7, 2012 1:27 AM

    Adderall is a legal substance if you have a prescription yet the NFL still has a ban on that.

  31. ishudbgm says: Dec 7, 2012 2:11 AM

    I hope the NFL makes it legal for players in Washington by next season and cause of it Lynch runs for over 2k yards by week 10.

  32. johnnyquick says: Dec 7, 2012 4:17 AM

    You want to see the league change its weed policy. Have ALL players smoke it.

    We’ll see if the league will close shop for four weeks or more.

  33. TheWizard says: Dec 7, 2012 5:09 AM

    Anyone with a meaningful occupation is subject to random drug testing.

    This new freedom will only benefit the slackers, who will become worse slackers now.

  34. jetfanfolife says: Dec 7, 2012 6:22 AM

    Rats, this means Santonio Holmes will likely stay with the Jets.

  35. csilojohnson says: Dec 7, 2012 7:22 AM

    Great step in the right direction. Stupid law though. What good is legalizing possession when it’s still illegal to buy it. Can we just for once have a law that makes just a little sense?

  36. spac3mansp1ff says: Dec 7, 2012 7:34 AM

    As long as marijuana use is not affecting a player’s production, then the NFL should support legalization. I’d rather have my players getting baked in their homes than have them binge drinking in the clubs. I’d be willing to bet that we would see a reduction in the number of player arrests for violent altercations.

  37. root4cleveland says: Dec 7, 2012 7:48 AM

    @ folkcrusader

    Seattle will have a new NBA squad in no time renamed the Seattle Smoke.

    ====================================

    …and I know where they can find the tax revenue to built them a stadium to rival that of the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s a hint: a retractable roof is probably going to be a valuable option, equipped with exhaust fans.

  38. myroncopesflask says: Dec 7, 2012 8:55 AM

    This just in Nate Newton and Bam Morris are pull out all stops to buy a majority stake of the Seahawks. Plans are in place to include unlimited starbucks and sticky icky in all signing bonuses.

  39. ducksk says: Dec 7, 2012 9:51 AM

    Now after eating all the snacks in the house by halftime I will fall asleep and never see a 2nd half again. Of course if its soccer or NASCAR May not make it awake thru anthem.

  40. thesmartestmanever says: Dec 7, 2012 9:53 AM

    it will never hold up in court. The NFL is the world’s most private Club, you’d have a better chance being a free mason. as long as there are no Federal funds going into the league they can set any policy they see fit. Remember congress couldn’t force teams to play blacks in fact the Washington Redskins were one of the last teams to do so. as a black man and a skins fan I’m not proud of this fact, but my point remains no court can force the NFL to alter it’s drug policy

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!