It’s been known for months that, if/when the NFL and NFLPA work out an agreement for HGH testing, the NFL and NFLPA will finalize new policies regarding substance abuse and performance enhancing drugs.
It’s now known that the new policies will include reduced discipline for marijuana violations and higher thresholds of concentration of the drug before a violation occurs.
Given that Commissioner Roger Goodell made a public push last week to finalize HGH testing, it’s not a stretch to believe that the source who leaked this new information about marijuana testing and discipline to ESPN.com wants the players to know that, if they merely agree to let Commissioner Goodell handle appeals of violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy that arise from something other than a positive test, marijuana will suddenly become less of a problem for players.
And if enough players figure this out and begin pushing the NFLPA to take that deal, the impasse regarding HGH testing may finally be broken.
It’s the right idea by the NFL, but it doesn’t go far enough. Why not simply abandon marijuana testing, and punish only those players who are arrested and convicted of a marijuana-related violation? It’s not a performance-enhancing substance (otherwise, it would fall under the steroids policy). Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?
Maybe the NFL wants HGH testing badly enough to drop the general ban on marijuana. Because marijuana use does nothing to undermine the integrity of the game but HGH does, it should be a no-brainer.