As the 2013 NFL regular season prepares to launch in one of the two states where it’s now legal to smoke marijuana, let’s reflect on one of the more prominent marijuana smokers who played pro football in recent years.
Former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said Wednesday on WQAM radio in Miami that former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams routinely smoked marijuana before games.
“Remember that Buffalo game, the 200-yard game?” Crowder said. “Smoked the night before. Talk to Ricky. He was doing it, that’s what he did. Ricky has social anxiety and he smoked weed. Ricky’s marijuana didn’t affect the team until he got caught smoking. . . . Him smoking weed, sitting at his house smoking weed, didn’t affect anybody but Ricky. He got high and then he sobered up and then he went to practice the next day.”
It’s far more common than people realize that players smoke marijuana. Players not in the substance-abuse program have one marijuana test per year. (Ironically, the window for testing opens on April 20.) After being tested, a player can smoke all he wants until the next April 20. (Actually, he should quit by March 20, given that it takes up to 30 days for metabolites to exit the system.)
Most teams care about players using marijuana only when, due to one or more failed tests, the choice becomes marijuana or football. Until the player has a violation or two, that decision doesn’t have to be made.
So NFL players who have passed their annual substance-abuse test should smoke ‘em if they got ‘em, especially if they are in Colorado or Washington.