Is the NFL seriously considering relaxing its marijuana rules?

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On the surface, the news that the NFL has offered to collaborate with the NFLPA in its effort to study whether marijuana can be used as a pain management tools suggests that the league finally has decided to soften its stance that marijuana is addictive, unhealthy, illegal. But there’s always more going on than meets the eye.

The NFL had previously been clinging to its strong stance against marijuana, presumably due to the realities of collective bargaining. The league and the union agreed decades ago that marijuana would be prohibited for all purposes, and the league seemed to be inclined to change that only if the NFLPA would be making an equivalent concession.

But the union likely will never make a concession in this regard, because the current rules allow players who aren’t already in the program to avoid positive tests, if they’re smart. So the NFLPA wisely has been persistently couching the issue as a matter of player health and safety, forcing the league either to follow suit or risk being perceived as not caring about player health and safety.

Coincidentally (or not), the league finally has adopted the union’s perspective, on the heels of last week’s CTE study.

This hardly means that the league will make wholesale changes to its substance-abuse policy, or that the league will agree with any NFLPA findings regarding the benefits of smoking marijuana. Eventually, the league’s position could be, “We explored it, and we decided that it’s not something that will promote player health and safety.”

But that’s a problem for another day. For now, the NFL has taken the first step toward abandoning the collective bargaining façade and acknowledging that the best interests of the game compel at a minimum consideration of any and all mechanisms for promoting and enhancing the health and safety of the men who play it.

63 responses to “Is the NFL seriously considering relaxing its marijuana rules?

  1. More likely a political move. When data 20 years from now shows it was detrimental to let the league light up, they can say they (against their better judgment) acceded to the NFL PA’s advice.

  2. With the Jets signing Colin Kap for 1 yr 9/mil it isn’t hard to imagine a world where all the players do bong hits at halftime. All games will now start at 420.

  3. With the ongoing opioid epidemic and the widespread knowledge that a lot of players are popping these pills like they’re tic tacs, its idiotic to not let them smoke a little weed instead. Of course, that doesn’t mean the league will do what’s right.

  4. A.G Jeff Sessions: Marijuana is a direct threat to the health and stability of society.

    – This message paid for by the people at: Pfizer, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Reynolds, Anheuser-Busch and Coors.

  5. Nothing will change until our archaic drug classification system is updated. Marijuana needs to be moved down from being labeled as a “Schedule 1 Narcotic” by our federal government before the true medicinal benefits of the plant can be more widely explored and institutions like the NFL will lighten up. We only have 22 states to go!

  6. compel at a minimum consideration of any and all mechanisms for promoting and enhancing the health and safety of the men who play it.
    —————————————————

    so…. exactly how does marijuana use promote health and safety? it does neither, it’s strictly a pain management strategy.

  7. it hilarious when people didn’t know what Cam was referring to when doing a ‘Dab’

    Looks like he did too many Dabs

  8. Google search: cannabis entourage effect

    Whole plant natural cannabis has been a safe & effective medicinal substance used in Chinese & Indian practice for thousands of years (as well as in modern US medical practice, at least until the political demonization brownskin racial-targeting ‘reefer madness’ campaigns initiative of the 193os) …

  9. peytonwantsaflag says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:22 PM

    compel at a minimum consideration of any and all mechanisms for promoting and enhancing the health and safety of the men who play it.
    —————————————————

    so…. exactly how does marijuana use promote health and safety? it does neither, it’s strictly a pain management strategy.

    ***************************************

    MJ is basically a superfood. Everyone is hung up on the Cheech and Chong stereotype. I watched Arthur but I don’t believe all alcoholics are millionaires who laugh all the time and safely drive drunk everywhere, these are just movies people. Smoking and eating MJ is healthy, for your emotional health, psychological health and your physical health. Can it be over done absolutely just like with anything else so moderation is key. Is MJ a panacea … No. Watch Run From the Cure on youtube, or Waiting to Inhale, or Google Dennis Hill and read his story.

  10. Frazier28/7 says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:23 PM
    it hilarious when people didn’t know what Cam was referring to when doing a ‘Dab’

    Looks like he did too many Dabs

    Some of us over 60 knew. You kids act like you invented pot.

  11. Im relaxing with marajuana right now. Ill tell you what, ITS GREAT!

    Seriously though if they are able to prove it is better at pain management than drinking/taking pain killers and is less addictive and detrimental to player health I don’t see why players would not be allowed to smoke if they wanted too.

    Football is the most violent sport on the planet. And if these guys want to smoke some weed to ease the aches and pains let them!

  12. Israel has been experimenting with marijuana for decades and they have found that administering oil to soldiers that have experienced a traumatic brain injury within a couple hours significantly reduces intracranial pressure which lessens the overall damage done to brain tissue.

  13. We’ll see how fast the owners react when Marijuana’s real biggest enemy, the pharmaceutical companies, give Roger a call and remind him how much they spend on advertising. None of this anti-marijuana garbage is ever as it appears. The pharmaceutical companies allow suburban moms to carry their water, but legalized marijuana hurts them because they know their pain relief medicine (cancer and other) can be done more efficiently and less costly by using marijuana. The NFL should take the lead from many states and change their thinking, if they really care about the players.

  14. I love reading anti-weed comments, because 99% of the time, the people posting those have no idea what they are talking about and just assume its the devils drug just because the government says so.

    Should be 100% legal by this point anyway. Weed is so much safer to do than drinking that crap the NFL endorses.

  15. “This hardly means that the league will make wholesale changes to its substance-abuse policy, or that the league will agree with any NFLPA findings regarding the benefits of smoking marijuana.”

    There you go again. For the billionth time, there are many, safer methods of using cannabis than smoking it. Smoking, no matter what substance you smoke, does terminal damage to your lungs. Ever heard of cannabis oil? That’s how most people ingest it that do so for pain management purposes.

    As I heard a comedian say once, “We enthusiastically give our children speed (Ritalin), but we try to keep adults from using pot. How stupid is that?”

  16. The NFL doesn’t care about science or the players. The NFL cares about PR. They also promised to support CTE research, then backed out after failing to replace a scientist who was not friendly to their cause, and after results were released that were problematic for the league. I have to worry that their sudden support for cannabis research is also based on a desire manipulate the results. Fool me once…

  17. please. as long as Godell is commissioner this will not change. he thinks that smoking cannabis is worse than hitting a woman or killing a person.

  18. I have been saying it all along the NFL will have its own brand and will deal it to the players !

  19. RussianBreadMaker says:

    Alcohol is more damaging than Marijuana. Why wouldn’t they?
    =====================================

    Gee, let me think with an unstoned brain……

    Maybe because one is against federal law and the other isn’t?

  20. Taking the players stance out of the equation, why do the owners want to continue to have many of their star players suspended for using marijuana, every season? It’s placing their franchise at a much bigger disadvantage than allowing players to simply use it. It really is beyond logic and comprehension.

  21. De Smith will guarantee massive concessions for the owners.

    NFL will give a win to De. Of course, it will be a disaster for the rank-and-file. De seems to the small print.

    Made billions in the NFL just for the owners. The owners adore De.

  22. That’s all we don’t need are these guys being high on pot playing football. These guys are plenty stupid already.

  23. Oh, the pharmaceutical companies are not going to like this. Quick, come out with some kind of voodoo-scientific “fake” study that shows all the bad things pot can do to you. Forget about the truth, make it up. Send the talking points to the congress and the president, and scare the heck out of everyone. Get the checkbook out and starting writing checks. Can you imagine how much money this will cost big drug companies. Pot can actually cure things, while their products usually lead to more health issues, and more drug sales. Cha Ching. Scare. Scare. Scare.

  24. RussianBreadMaker says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:05 PM

    Alcohol is more damaging than Marijuana. Why wouldn’t they?
    ____________________

    Because the vast majority of them come from a generation where they were told marijuana was an addictive psychoactive drug and that it was harmful. It wasn’t just a common idea; it was common KNOWLEDGE.

    Despite the fact that science has taught us a lot more about the health benefits of marijuana over the years, fact is the owners are all old, and you know what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks.

  25. Big Pharma will not approve as they have no profit benefit and do not 100% control the means of production like they do with killer opioids.

  26. I really hope the NFL does this, instead of getting these guys into opioids and such. Scarily enough though, the DEA, after surely getting its palms greased by Big Pharma, has declared a synthetic marijuana to be a Schedule TWO drug, while marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug, with the likes of heroin. How many guys in NCAA and NFL football alone have we seen freak out on synthetic weed? Multiple. And how many freaked out on regular weed? That’d be a hard ZERO. Something stinks here, and it ain’t the kush burning…

  27. the league will probably allow the use of marijuana shortly before the next CBA negotiations start, hoping that the players will be stoned and just agree to whatever the league offers.

  28. as a side note, I did a double-take when I went to a state park beach a couple weeks ago and on the way in noticed a sign that said “Hookahs not allowed”.

  29. abninf says:
    Aug 1, 2017 2:10 PM

    RussianBreadMaker says:

    Alcohol is more damaging than Marijuana. Why wouldn’t they?
    =====================================

    Gee, let me think with an unstoned brain……

    Maybe because one is against federal law and the other isn’t?

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

    Federal law is trumped (pun intended) by state law. Therefore, players in states where medical marijuana is legal are truly not doing anything illegal. 29 states AND DC consider medical marijuana legal, therefore, the majority of the governing bodies of America are on board.

    Moreover, I also have an “unstoned” brain, however, I’m not an elitist concerning that fact 🙂

  30. abninf says:

    Alcohol is more damaging than Marijuana. Why wouldn’t they?
    =====================================

    Gee, let me think with an unstoned brain……

    Maybe because one is against federal law and the other isn’t?
    ————————
    @abninf is exactly the type of person who would have campaigned against fighting for independence in the 1770’s. Just because your masters say it’s wrong, doesn’t mean it is. More often then not, it’s “wrong” because pockets are lined with less when it’s made “right”. Stop being a sheep.

  31. Okay, one thing with the article. The NFL can’t soften its stance that Marijuan is illegal, because it still is. Regardless of what states pass, and not all of them have, Marijuana is still federally illegal. So there’s that.

    Secondly, smoking marijuana is not healthy for you. Inhaling smoke of any kind, even burning simple leaves in your backyard is not healthy for your lungs. Now ingesting marijuana is another story.

    I personally choose not to use marijuana for anything and I do have some legitimate reasons to use it for medical purposes if I chose. I had a family member with terminal cancer and it used to help him eat and feel better. In that sense I have no issue with it being used this way. That’s the same way Morphine is used. You don’t use morphine for simple aches and pains and you certainly don’t use it long term for anything but terminal cases.

    Until a real unbiased study can be done and we can get the real information out there about the health benefits and deficits I will continue to support it being illegal. I’m sure in some cases it can help, but let’s not simply say it is a harmless drug. It isn’t. No drug is harmless and that includes prescriptions.

  32. 345snarkavenue says:
    Aug 1, 2017 3:13 PM

    as a side note, I did a double-take when I went to a state park beach a couple weeks ago and on the way in noticed a sign that said “Hookahs not allowed”.
    ———————

    Seems reasonable to disallow prostitutes.

  33. webbiewebs3 says:
    Aug 1, 2017 4:11 PM

    Until a real unbiased study can be done and we can get the real information out there about the health benefits and deficits I will continue to support it being illegal. I’m sure in some cases it can help, but let’s not simply say it is a harmless drug. It isn’t. No drug is harmless and that includes prescriptions.

    ————————————————–

    Every study done is considered biased by each side, so I guess you’ll never get the real information you need.

  34. Just simply stop testing for it. Your policy doesn’t have to change. Any video or pictures of players smoking anything that could be construed as pot results in suspensions and fines. That way, if guys want to smoke it in the privacy of there own home, they can, and it doesn’t impact public perception and the NFL brand. Which is all the league really cares about anyway.

  35. The 2016 Scoreboard

    Opioid Related Deaths : 52,000

    Marijuana Related Deaths : 0
    =====

    :Eyeroll:

    “Roughly 10 percent of Washington state drivers involved in fatal car crashes between 2010 and 2014 tested positive for recent marijuana use, with the percentage of drivers who had used pot within hours of a crash doubling between 2013 and 2014, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

    Authorities in Washington recorded 436 fatal crashes in 2013, and determined that drivers involved in 40 crashes tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana, according to the study. In 2014 they found that of 462 fatal crashes, 85 drivers tested positive for THC.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/10/marijuana-related-fatal-car-accidents-surge-washin/

    .. that’s just the state of Washington.

  36. 4512dawg4512 says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:44 PM
    If they do the Browns have been screwed out of a great receiver in Josh Gordon
    ———————————————————————————–

    For all the “pot is great, pot is fine it’s not addictive” people,
    Why can’t Josh Gordon stop smoking it to be one of the greatest receivers of all time and make tons of money?

    It’s a strong point. If you’re a pot smoker you’ll be in denial. But really, explain Josh Gordon??

    On a funny note,this is like an episode of Ballers
    Where they seem to show idiot players wearing “High powered” shirts.

  37. Knowing the NFL they will relax the rules to allow it but still take another year to reinstate Gordon.

  38. This smells like a plan to off-load regulation to physicians. Like medical marijuana, ADHD, and emotional support animals, if prescribers are made he gatekeepers then all entities have deniability if someone is using. If a doc says you can… you’re good. It’s the same situation as TUEs in pro cycling in the wake of the Armstrong stuff.

  39. It’s my understanding that Jim Irsay has submitted a formal petition in support of cocaine, quaaludes, and huffing glue or paint.

  40. Even putting aside the utter hypocrisy of the “Dah, it’s not addictive” chronic users with demonstrative brain damage, I am not paying hundreds of dollars to watch a bunch of potheads drop passes and muff plays. I can see that for free at the local park.

  41. Seeing how many Americans have smoked it… why is it still scheduled a 3 drug? If Donald Trump wanted to turn the tables he would introduce pot legalization to diffuse many of his problems and pass it off as a State(s) issue.
    That would be brilliant. The NBA would lose at least 30% of their players if they tested for weed.
    It’s a overrated non issue.

  42. It’s a matter of time…. it’s coming. It will be legalized for players to use. They all already use it anyways. Matter of time. And to echo other posters; so much better for you than alcohol which advertises in every commercial break and is promoted by the sport.

    This is from someone who hates the effects of pot and feeling “high” but has felt the benefits of CBD medical issued for chronic problems. It helps pain, and again; I hate feeling high. CBD doesn’t have that effect.

    Will players abuse this pass, probably. But it’s coming.

  43. patsandwannabees says:
    Aug 1, 2017 4:52 PM
    4512dawg4512 says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:44 PM
    If they do the Browns have been screwed out of a great receiver in Josh Gordon
    ———————————————————————————–
    For all the “pot is great, pot is fine it’s not addictive” people,
    Why can’t Josh Gordon stop smoking it to be one of the greatest receivers of all time and make tons of money?
    It’s a strong point. If you’re a pot smoker you’ll be in denial. But really, explain Josh Gordon??
    On a funny note,this is like an episode of Ballers
    Where they seem to show idiot players wearing “High powered” shirts.

    *****************************
    For every Josh Gordon, there are a million people who can handle it. Obviously, pot isn’t Gordon’s issue. He’s just a knucklehead. Some people over-eat and cause themselves all sorts of health issues. We should just ban eating because a few people with psychological issues binge eat.

  44. Just curious: are owners subjected to the same substance abuse tests that the players are? Because if so, I know at least one owner who’d be in trouble.

  45. motsuret06 says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:38 PM
    Too many damn pot heads as it is. I certainly hope not
    ………………………………………
    Says tha alcoholic pill popper

  46. I get angry when I keep reading how safe marijuana is. Read the American Lung Associations opinion of marijuana. They detail just how unsafe it is to use marijuana regularly. But of course, the potheads will say the American Lung Association is wrong.
    It’s obvious the dopers have won and marijuana will soon be as legal as cigarettes. And it does have pain relief qualities that are proven, so from that standpoint, it’s worth the risk of using it for people with chronic pain.
    As for the NFL — I couldn’t care less anymore if the players are given marijuana before, during, and after the games. The truth is the majority of them are already using it anyway, so what’s the point of trying to pretend that they’re not? Why not just have the trainers hand it out to them so they don’t have to purchase it from drug dealers?
    I have never used marijuana or any other illegal substance, but I am in the minority, for sure. In fact, I get criticized when I say that and for my anti-marijuana stance. But I grew up in the 60’s and the potheads were all around even back then. I didn’t like them then, and I don’t like them any better today.
    I see nothing redeeming about using it for recreational use, but again, I am in the minority. It’s my opinion, which I have a right to have.
    We have become a nation of people who depend on drugs and/or alcohol to get through the daily grind of every day life. I think that’s a sad reality and says a lot about us as a nation, but it’s a reality none the less.
    And now that the wall against marijuana use is being taken down, I am 100% positive that other, harder drugs will become legalized, too. Because it’s never enough.
    If you doubt me, wait about another decade and see for yourself.

  47. Nyneal, smoking marijuana is not the only way to use this medicine. You can actually take it in pill form or through edibles. Also, one of the main chemicals in marijuana is THC which is already naturally produced by your body. Yes you have a right to your opinion and I agree that abuse of any drug including alcohol is a huge problem in society. The research being requested for the NFL by the players is for an alternate solution to harmful pain killers already being allowed like Vicodin for example. There are many other useful uses for marijuana but unfortunately the stereotype that it has as a result of idiots abusing it have labeled this as a harmful drug. Please do extensive research with an open mind and i’m sure you will find more facts about this medicine. Dont let your 60’s experience with hippies lead to misinformation from false pretense.

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