Many NFL teams don’t have a problem with players smoking marijuana, as long as they can quit once they’ve been caught. One they’re caught, the overriding question becomes whether the player will choose football over marijuana.
Colts receiver LaVon Brazill, who’ll miss the first four games of the 2013 season after his most recent violation of the substance-abuse policy, sees the dilemma in more practical terms.
“It’s either money or marijuana,” Brazill told reporters Monday. “I know anyone of you would choose money any day. That’s gone and I’m choosing money any day.”
Actually, Brazill already has chosen marijuana over money. Possibly twice.
Under the substance-abuse policy, the first violation, absent self-referral, gets the player in Stage One of the program. A second violation (coming from a failure to cooperate with his evaluation process or treatment plan) can result in a fine in the amount of three game checks and advancement to Stage Two. (The player also can advance to Stage Two without a second violation.)
Once the player is in Stage Two, the next violation triggers only a four-game fine, if the player successfully completed Stage One. If the player did not successfully complete Stage One (which can happen if the player commits another violation while in Stage One), the first violation in Stage Two results in a four-game suspension.
For Brazill, a suspension possibly means that Brazill already has played either three or four games for free. Now, he’ll be not playing four game, also for free.
So, yes, moving forward he’ll have to chose money over marijuana. Possibly in part because it’s impossible to buy marijuana without money.
Either way, the Colts likely would be more encouraged about Brazill’s ability to avoid a one-year suspension if he were to replace the word “money” with “football” when discussing his alternatives to marijuana.