NFL continues to get it wrong when it comes to players suffering from addiction

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Two of the NFL’s best young football players may not be playing football this year, because they consistently have chosen marijuana over football.  But how voluntary were those choices?

It’s a question the NFL, the NFLPA, and everyone else with a direct or indirect interest in the story needs to ask before passing judgment on Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington and/or Browns receiver Josh Gordon.

Their most recent violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy (Gordon’s remains subject to appeal) trigger a banishment from the league for a minimum of one year.  Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who admirably overcame his own addiction issues, recently has wagged a finger at Gordon for being unable to do the same.  Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who welcomed draft-day steal Tyrann Mathieu into the fold after a litany of marijuana incidents at LSU, has essentially shunned Washington.

“He made a choice and we’re all living with it,” Arians said earlier this week in slamming the door on any further discussions about Washington.

How much of a choice was it?  Unless Gordon and Washington are simply too dumb to understand the overall career consequences arising from smoking marijuana, they either deliberately and consciously opted to spit into the wind regarding the contents of their piss, or they couldn’t help themselves.

The policy and program crafted by the league and approved by the union doesn’t take that into account.  If owners, who aren’t (but should be) subject to the substance-abuse policy and program, were subject to the same policy, maybe it would.

Here’s where it gets interesting for the NFL.  With Colts owner Jim Irsay presumably getting behind the wheel of a car with potent drugs in his system not because he made a conscious choice to put people’s lives at risk but because he couldn’t help it, will he be the recipient of compassion and understanding?  Or will he be banned for at least a year, too?

The league talks of holding owners to a higher standard than players.  Players get multiple strikes before the league turns its back on them.  How many strikes will an owner get, if a higher standard indeed applies?

If the league is inclined to show compassion and understanding for Irsay, that same spirit needs to apply when it comes to players who may be clinically addicted to a substance that is now legal in two of the 22 states in which the NFL does business.  It’s an important nuance to the ongoing Irsay situation that requires careful attention as the league decides what to do.

114 responses to “NFL continues to get it wrong when it comes to players suffering from addiction

  1. These guys were suspended for marijuana. Last I checked, its debatable that marijuana is addictive.

    Cris Carter was on cocaine. Which is a definitively addictive substance.

    Big difference.

  2. Pot is not addictive. You insult people with serious drug problems when you say that. Millions of college stoners quit or only smoke on weekends as soon as they get jobs. Gordon is just dumb.

  3. If you don’t understand the difference between owner and employee.

    If you want to be an employee you must follow this set of rules. If you want to be an owner you must follow this set of rules. The two sets of rules are not the same. If you don’t like it…become an owner.

  4. Question: if a shareholder of company ‘X’ is arrested for DUI should they be suspended from ‘shareholder activities’?

    What’s the difference between the above scenario and Irsay’s case?

    Sure; it’s embarrassing for him and the league that this has happened but the players are employees, the owner is the owner.

  5. I agree with the sentiment, the NFL is definitely getting this wrong. Recent studies indicate today’s marijuana strains are significantly more addictive than the predecessors Carter and Company employed. But you do lose points for dragging Irsay into the conversation. Owners and employees are not equals in any organization, there is no reasonable logic under which they would be subjected to the same treatment or discipline in a private corporation.

  6. I’m sorry, but I smoke weed on nearly a daily basis, IT’S NOT ADDICTING! These guys are just too dumb to know when to quite. But this should be a non issue. Let theses guys smoke, it’s not like it’s enhancing their playing ability and giving them an edge.

  7. This is more than an issue with the NFL. We as a nation need to embrace a more caring mentality towards drugs and addiction. Multiple countries have taken to putting away the hammer and no longer trying to smash addiction with consequence and have started treating the person and attempting to help a sickness. It’s working by leaps and bounds better than our eternal war on drugs has ever even come close to doing.

    This “that’s how it’s always been” mentality is killing america in many ways and the completely wasteful WAR on drugs is just one of the examples.

  8. First time offenders don’t get a year banishment. Thus Irsay will not get banned for a year. I would imagine if this was strike three he would get the same treatment. If the union is unhappy with the punishments for repeat offenders then they need to bargain for different punishments. Maybe they only take 49% in revenue next time to be allowed to use all the recreational drugs they want. Who knows, but with a CBA in place both parties have the opportunity to negotiate as they see fit.

    On a side note most of us normal joes would just be fired. So I don’t feel that sorry for either the players or owners. They all have the means to seek help if they want to.

  9. It’s only habit forming not addictive. They should have known better especially if they know when they’re going to be tested. If you get caught multiple times you may have smoked yourself stupid.

  10. How could it not be voluntary? They have been athletes most of their lives and know the rules. Nobody forced them to hit that stick.

  11. For Gordon I think it’s more of a psychological addiction. Maybe he’s got some type of undiagnosed social anxiety disorder. The herb is his security blanket? Who knows? All I know is I’m gettin pretty tired of his nonsense. But not so tired that I’d cut or release him. Kid is a legit stud. Hope he can get it together for his own sake.

  12. Owners are held to a higher standard. Look at the NBA and Donald Sterling. If a player made those comments they surely wouldn’t be banned for life. Many players have done much worse than say some hurtful words and received minimal consequences.

  13. You cannot compare the two.

    This is Isray’s first strike while both Gordon and Washington are on strike 3. THREE!

    Isray should get off with a little more than a slap on the wrist from the NFL because he has never been in trouble before and is getting charged with misdemeanors.

    Now if you want to argue on why players should not be suspended for marijuana then we have a topic to talk about but your comparing apples to oranges.

  14. Actually a perfect example would be Donald Sterling compared to Riley Cooper. Different leagues (similaer enough though), same issue, different results.

  15. The whole subject is ridiculous. These are grown men, why do they have to have a babysitter and special treatment. Look at the other side of the coin. If they have this on their record and try to get legitimate employment they not only would have a brutal time finding a job, fact is unless they worked for Walmart or McDonald’s no one would hire them (the real world). This whole subject is ridiculously out of hand, when are players going to be accountable for themselves and stop making excuses and blaming everyone else? Bill Cosby said it best-the only thing players are really sorry for is getting caught!

  16. I thought all of the pro-marijuana people have been telling us that pot is non-addictive.

  17. Last I was aware and one of the arguments for legalized marijuana was the multiple studies stating that marijuana is not a clinically addictive substance (like cocaine, heroin, etc.)

    Personally I am for legalized marijuana but until it is legal I have no problem with it being a banned substance in the NFL and it is beyond me to see these guys choosing weed over 6 and 7 figure contracts as sympathetic victims.

  18. You are absolutely right, the NFL keeps getting it wrong. If I fail a drug test, I get fired. There is no temporary suspension, I’m out of a job, and will not be able to return to my company. The NFL keeps giving these losers 3 or 4 chances. One and Done should be the policy.

  19. Talk about having it both ways…we are constantly and consistently told by the legalization crowd that marijuana is NOT physically addictive. These are big boys who want big money and they need to make big decisions. Because of their financial standing and that of the league and teams they play for, they have all the resources possible at their beckoned call to help them break the “habit”. Most people who find themselves in trouble due to substance abuse issues have far fewer options.

  20. The story is connecting dots that don’t exist. If you work for UPS your subject to drug testing and if your a shareholder in UPS your not. And this isn’t to say Irsay won’t be punished he will. Lastly the league and players association are following drug rules as set forth in the CBA which aren’t about to be changed.

  21. There’s certain substances they need to basically stop testing for. If they don’t enhance your performance or put you in immediate grave danger they should be taken off the list. This is really about the NFL trying to preserve and promote a disillusionary squeaky clean image. I understand that they want the NFL to be middle america family friendly but you don’t get that with draconian 2-decade old marijuana policies. It just doesn’t make sense.

  22. Only problem is that unlike Irsay’s drugs of choice, weed isn’t supported by the big corporations (read sponsors). So if you are addicted to painkillers or booze, play on lads! If it is a plant in its natural form that you are hooked on–no! no! no! Out for a year and loss of millions. Does that make ANY sense?

  23. Oh c’mon. Marijuana is not addicting. This is not sarcasim. They apparently like to get stoned and are a couple of knuckleheads who thought they wouldn’t get caught.

  24. Um, there’s no evidence that a person can become clinically addicted to marijuana. The NFL needs to come into the 21st Century when it comes to addiction.

  25. The physical and mental health of players is important and should not be ruined by marijuana.

    It is apparent that some players get addicted to marijuana and choose the drug over everything else in their lives.

    While the best approach is to shun the drug and everyone associated with it and never bring that trouble into your life in the first place.

    Something must be be done once they are addicted. Suspending them away from any addiction recovery doesn’t help.

    There ought to be a lesser penalty route for those who voluntarily turn themselves in. If there was a mental health institution where they can be locked up and get their mind right, privately.

    Self intervention should have a place in the policy, before they get caught.

    If we all pull together we can win this war on drugs.

  26. It’s a misdemeanor in Ohio to possess marijuana in quantity less than 4 oz. with a normal punishment of $100 fine. I am, however subject to drug and alcohol testing in my workplace. 1st offense is 6 month suspension of duties. 2nd offense is lifetime banishment. I do not know what level of marijuana (THC) content would trigger a failed test.

  27. I don’t think Goodell agrees that the same spirit needs to apply to players. I think he thinks Owners should have special powers and exemptions that players don’t get. He sees them as special people that are in a different class than all other people.

    Let’s just all be glad though that Cris Carter isn’t a firefighter or a doctor, or any job that requires a person to help other people. Please keep your day job.

  28. Pill (hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycotton) addiction is WAY worse than mary jane… I know, first hand.

    I don’t get why these guys just don’t pop a coupla pills instead of smoking, ONLY b/c pills are “legal” in the NFL eyes. Popping a pill or 3 will still get you “high”.

    Not saying it’s good, but it would’nt get ’em banned and/or suspended.

  29. There are plenty of ways to get help. The players aren’t taking advantage of them. If they don’t want to change, no number of programs will make any difference. The NFL didn’t stuff their pipes, or force them to do anything. The blame is on the player, they knew the consequences of their actions, and made their own choices.

    Addiction is a b****, but until someone actually wants to stop using and stay clean, nothing will help them, and only the user can make that choice.

  30. “It’s not my fault, mom. I didn’t have a choice. Pot made me it.”

    Are we really going to go there?

  31. Addiction is now a terrible disease we must be understanding of? You guys go right on ahead and be enlightened I am going to sit right here, roll my eyes and say, “dumbass”

  32. I lead an addictions counseling program and I understand that people want to come on here and justify marijuana use and declare it a beautiful non addictive substance. But when you’ve looked 18 year old men in the eye and heard that they started with marijuana and could not stop and progressed into heroine and cocaine enough times – you tend to understand that marijuana is an addiction and is a problem for society. Please be careful to think you can comment on this topic if you’ve never watched the deterioration of a human being in person who routinely used harmless “marijuana”.

  33. Maybe in 2014 leagues could allow athletes who want to smoke to get prescriptions for medical marijuana and exempt them from testing and suspensions.

  34. unbridledsexy says:
    Jun 4, 2014 8:23 AM
    I’m sorry, but I smoke weed on nearly a daily basis, IT’S NOT ADDICTING!

    Am I the only one who sees a bit of irony here…

  35. For you folk saying that owners can do what they want because they are owners and they can make the rules but not have to follow them I have something unenlightened to say to you too.

    *roll eyes* dumbass

  36. If you smoke weed on a daily basis, you are addicted.

    If these guys are addicted, they should be in rehab. I haven’t heard anything about them going off to rehab to deal with their problem. Until they do, no mercy. You get mercy if you try to fix your problem.

  37. Many folks minimize the seriousness of marijuana use. It may not be addictive but careers are ruined because of the affect it has on a person’s work habits. It breeds laziness. Just ask the players like Ricky Williams, and Charles Rogers. They are two examples from a long list.

  38. This is the wrong argument for multiple reasons. First off, pot isn’t addictive. You choose to smoke it. If you find it hard to stop, it’s because it’s has become part of your routine like many other non-addictive things you choose to do and don’t want to quit. Secondly, the NFL has it wrong for thinking pot is relevant enough to test players for. Test for PEDs. Period. If you want to test for narcotics, test for ones that are actually dangerous to the player’s well-being like opiate-based drugs and cocaine.

    The NFL has every right to test for pot, but it does them no good. The NFL is saving no one by exposing pot habits. And it really only exposes the habits of those who are too dumb to quit for the month prior to their scheduled test. 90+% of pot users in the NFL pass their tests. Time to stop being the quasi-morality police and focus on keeping the play on the field fair. Test for HGH, not THC.

  39. I have a great solution to the problem of NFL players addiction to pot.

    Stop testing for pot.

  40. Well if it isn’t addicted the why do it and risk millions? He was suspended for being stupid more then anything.

  41. If you smoke pot everyday. You have a problem. I love hearing stoners say “It’s not addictive, I just choose to smoke weed everyday”. You can argue whether or not its physically addictive but if you’re doing it habitually its a problem. Plain and simple.

  42. “Pot isn’t addictive. Trust me, I’ve been smoking for 35 years.” — actual quote from one of my neighbors.

  43. On the business plan I am putting together I am eliminating marijuana from the drugs I am testing for. I am not advocating for it, nor am I saying that it is okay, but I will insitute the same stance toward that as I will alcohol: don’t come to work drunk/high or use it any time BEFORE your shift, and if you are going to use it wait until you get home.

    As a nation we are far behind on the legalization of this which in comparison is far less dangerous than either alcohol or cigarettes and that a stance similar to the one that I am instituting should be utilized when dealing with that. I once had a coworker who used to show up to work smelling of alcohol with glazed eyes to boot and that is and has always been unacceptable, as it was when Maurice Clarett reportedly had a water bottle with Grey Goose in it.

    The NFLPA needs to realize at the next labor deal that things need to change and prepare the players 2 years ahead of time at least for a prolonged fight so that they can withstand the possible delay. The way that the NFL is doing business isn’t helping the players at all and the owners are not, regardless of what they say, holding themselves to the same or even similar standards.

  44. Marijuana is more akin to drinking coffee everyday. Or popping you’re vitamins (or vicadins) , every morning. Its like a morning jog for a jogger.
    Its meditative and relaxing. Its therapeutic… and why am I even trying. If you don’t already know that the benefits far outweigh the stigmas, then I’m sorry that you will never truly know mary jane, like the rest of us do.

  45. I am a responsible member of society with a job I am proud of and a family I am more proud of.

    And I am addicted to smoke. I do not want your sympathy or your intervention. I do it because I like it and I do not have a moral issue with it. If my work tested for it I would find a new job. I suppose I could quit if I really wanted to, but I REALLY don’t want to.

    My behavior when it comes to smoke is exactly the same as my behavior when it came to cigarettes. If I don’t have any, I am grumpy and I go get some. I was addicted to that smoke and now I am addicted to this smoke. Come to think of it, I am probably addicted to coffee as well. And sex.

    Because if your behaviors are the same as a person with clinical addiction how can you justify saying you aren’t addicted?

    I need it regularly. If I don’t get it I do what I can to get it, and quickly. And I am In a bad mood until I get it. Doesn’t that sound like addiction to you.

    Name it, own it. I am addicted, and I am fine with that.

  46. Guns are harmless but in the hands of bad people they become harmful.
    Same thing with Marijuana! Its a gateway to other drugs, for those who allow it to be a gateway!!!!!!!!!!!
    18 year kids already hooked on Heroin, must have had bigger issues than POT when they were growing up.

  47. The people who have sympathy for the owners are the same who worship CEO’s in America. Clueless, servile pawns who treat the “job creators” as gods.

  48. realdealsteel says:
    Jun 4, 2014 8:44 AM
    Adolph Goodall will go lite on Irsay and hard on players. Its as simple and unfair as that.
    Awe, it’s unfair. It’s such a shame.

  49. It’s amazing how the NFL can supply players with pain killers but suspend them for smoking weed. You have got to be kidding me. All you self righteous boneheads who think the NFL and it’s owners don’t have to follow the same rules because they own the teams are nothing more than Hippocrates.

  50. i agree if they are addicted to a drug that is addicting, cocaine crack, etc… but last i checked mary jane wasn’t addicting. and although i agree when a player is suspended, they shouldn’t take him away from his supporting cast. his teammates can hopefully help him through his tough times. the nfl seems to use these players and toss them asside when done.

  51. Weed is habit forming, but non-additive. The difference is a physical one.

    People here don’t seem to realize this isn’t an employee/employer issue. This is a league issue which is concerned with the impact of these actions has the “image” of the league.

    The effect of weed on the player is not the concern in regards to the league, they’re interest is what the implications of lawlessness has on the image, or the value of the NFL brand.

    Is it stupid? Damn straight is it, its also both disingenuous and extremely hypocritical for the league to turn their heads and look the other way as teams hand out prescription medicine like candy and then punish players for self medication.

    All of this is controlled by the CBA and it’s something the players themselves should insist on changing.

  52. Who are people to say what drugs are and aren’t addictive? Marijuana can be addictive. It depends on the person. Food and sex are not at all drugs, but we see people in society with addictions to them both. Maybe instead of the “stop it or else” punishment there should more of a tailored support system to the specific player and habit.

  53. I have a really hard time blaming the NFL or the NFLPA because people are caught smoking weed. You know the rules. Weed is not a hard drug like cocaine or heroine etc. I know people that can stop if they know a piss test is coming. Just man up and take care of your responsibilities. Stop making excuses.

  54. You know what? I think we should keep making up excuses for everyone… that has worked so well for society as is. I was going to go off, but since it wouldn’t have gotten posted anyway, I deleted 90% of what I wrote. What you’re purposing is wrong… Irsay is a business owner, so no, he doesn’t need to be held to the same standards as the players within the business… legally it shouldn’t matter, but we aren’t talking law here, you’re talking fairness and quite honestly, life isn’t fair… perhaps the best way to show that to the two druggies is banishment from the NFL. You want to make a real statement to the other players… sacrifice Gordon and Washington’s careers and ban them from the sport.

  55. Cigarettes are more addicting then marijuana. Ask the people who have quit for the thousandth time. For reference, purposes see, the cowboy with cigarette in his mouth. We need to stop the charade.

  56. Thanks you for this article, PFT,

    It’s TIME the NFL moved out of the Dark Ages.

    Marijuana was used as an “essential” medicine in ancient Chinese medicine. Marijuana has more anti-inflammatory properties than Ibuprofin! Marijuana is also successful in treating anxiety and other mental diseases such as depression. It has many, many, many more uses, from anti-seizure medication to gastroinflammatory disorders.

    Some use marijuana recreationally, but there shouldn’t be any issues for the NFL with that as they have no anti-alcohol policy. It’s less “addictive”, damaging and destructive (to yourself and others) than alcohol.

    No matter why a player chooses to use marijuana, it should NOT be a penalty in the NFL or anywhere in a civilized society such as the US.

  57. I like how people compare getting fired from their jobs (presumably @ Burger King) to NFL players. NFL players possess a special skill set and generate a TON of revenue – this is why they get multiple chances. Compensation is usually ties to revenue generated and skill set. Anyone can “drop the fries,” not anyone can be a top receiver in the NFL catching passes from Brandon Weeden – use your head before you put your fingers to a keyboard.

  58. ((saintskin33 says: Jun 4, 2014 10:10 AM

    I have a really hard time blaming the NFL or the NFLPA because people are caught smoking weed. You know the rules. Weed is not a hard drug like cocaine or heroine etc. I know people that can stop if they know a piss test is coming. Just man up and take care of your responsibilities. Stop making excuses.))

    The argument isn’t about “knowing” the rules.

    It’s about the rules needing to CHANGE.

  59. It’s an insult to people who have been addicted to a something like opiates, alcohol or even cigarettes etc and turned their life around to refer to pot as similarly addictive.
    Even caffeine is addictive in a way pot is not.
    There is no such thing as withdrawals from pot.

  60. In just about any other workplace in corporate America marijuana is a banned substance and tested for. Unless you are in h.s. or college and never worked a meaningful job you don’t really understand but you will soon enough. The players and the union agreed to this in the collective bargaining agreement and the fact players are risking millions after being caught 3x just shows their ignorance and I have no pity for them.

  61. rockyburnette says:
    Jun 4, 2014 8:21 AM
    I agree with the sentiment, the NFL is definitely getting this wrong. Recent studies indicate today’s marijuana strains are significantly more addictive than the predecessors Carter and Company employed.

    False. Marijuana is not physically addictive. That is proven time and time again. Now, I happen to think it may be psychologically addictive. I happen to think it destroys ambition and changes one’s personality in the long-term. But that is not the same as addiction. One does not get chemically or “medically” addicted to marijuana like ones does with cocaine, crack, meth, alcohol, nicotine and even caffeine. I agree with others who have stated that it’s an insult to compare marijuana “addiction” to these substances and their effects.

    Personally, I think the league should allow marijuana. It’s not performance-enhancing and it’s legal for medicinal purposes in 22 states (soon to be totally legal in more). Why does the NFL care? Also, why are caffeine and nicotine allowed? These are both stimulants…why not ban them?

  62. People are really ignorant if they think pot is as addictive as pills. Take pills for a week and let me know how you feel when you’re shivering cold and throwing up then smoke weed for a week and your worst symptom would be irritability. Don’t even get me started on alcohol.

  63. Also when it comes to treatment of owners

    – Owners represent the league but kids don’t look up to owners. Kids want to be the next Josh Gordon not the next Jim Irsay.

    Of course owners cant discredit the league with bad behaviour and if they do they should be punished but it’s the players who really represent the league. Famous owners are usually mostly the bad ones (jerry!).

  64. unbridledsexy says:
    Jun 4, 2014 8:23 AM
    I’m sorry, but I smoke weed on nearly a daily basis, IT’S NOT ADDICTING!

    Am I the only one who sees a bit of irony here…

    One of the best posts on here ever…

    If you wanna smoke Pot go right ahead. Just don’t make yourself stupid and say it’s not addicting.

    You pot heads are addicted to the “high”. Sure there are different levels of being a pot-user. However I have never met someone who did Pot once a month.

    Even the casual user is going to smoke Pot 3-4 times a week.

    Guys are giving up millions of dollars because of peer pressure and having to have that “high” feeling.

    I’m sorry I don’t want a Pot head operating machinery, operating on me, or making critical decisions.

    Call me a 420 hater if you want.

    These players get no sympathy from me. These guys know the rules of employment when entering the NFL.

    Following the rules of your employer is called being an employee?

    Imagine that?!?!??

  65. Mike,

    You are absolutely correct. With millions of dollars on the line that not only changes their lives but often times their families lives–these guys KNOW they’re going to be tested & still can’t stop. That’s not stupidity, that’s an addiction. As for marijuana–what may not be addictive to you can certainly be addictive to someone else like alcohol or pain killers.

    Although I believe marijuana should be legalized ASAP I don’t think people understand (or want to understand) that it’s still going to have a negative impact on certain player’s lives whether they get suspended or not. Most fans probably don’t care as long as their players play & their teams win. Just like most owners don’t care as long as they make as much as money as possible.

  66. ‘The league talks of holding owners to a higher standard than players. Players get multiple strikes before the league turns its back on them. How many strikes will an owner get, if a higher standard indeed applies?’

    Goodell is a liar & a pig.

  67. Weed is something the cops should deal with. PEDs and whatever other competition issues should be handled by the NFL. They are making public the fact that their employees use drugs and have records of it,but the cops do nothing about it. The punishment,suspend you,but the time without pay is recouped the following year. Might as well let the cops harass the guy about his supplier instead,charge and fine him and if required,lock him up for 30 days. Follow that up with a court mandated rehab (which is silly for weed,but hey,rehab makes the squares feel better).

  68. Why are people blaming the NFL for this? This policy was one that was negotiated by both the players and the owners.

    If the players were that concerned about this, they could’ve given a concession and had it removed from the list. They as a collective chose more money.

    Whether pot is legal is irrelevant. There are plenty of other drugs on the banned list that are legal to use. The point is that it was put on the banned list, and the players never tried to negotiate it off.

    If this was such a problem more of the 1800 players today would be getting suspended than the 10 – 20 players we have heard about in the last couple years. It seems to rankle people now because some of the younger players seem to think that because they are stars they can get away with it.

    This also has nothing to do with the owners, this policy was agreed upon fully by players and owners to be enforced on the players. Nowhere does it say that it will be enforced on the owners.

    If the players want the owners to have the same policy they should negotiate for that.

  69. Doing something again because you enjoyed it the last time (like sex) is not an addiction. When you do it so frequently that it interferes with your life, or, especially the life of others, then it’s an addiction.
    If a player smokes pot once in a blue moon, and is unfortunate enough to get caught with it, yes, its substance abuse, but not an addiction. If he smokes every night, with or without getting caught, then it’s closer to being an addiction, because it is now controlling his effectiveness in being prepared for his job, which effects his team’s success, and his team mates’ and coaches’ livelihood.

  70. The reason for a drug testing program SHOULD BE to maintain the integrity of the game (the product, if you will). Drugs can either detract from or enhance performance. Certain banned drugs cause lethargy, lack of mental focus, etc., and potentially lead to degradation of the product. Others increase strength, speed, etc. (PEDs, for examples) and give an unfair competitive advantage.

    With this in mind, this is why there should be different rules for players vs. owners: Players are the “performers.” Drugs either detract from or enhance their performance. Sure, a doped owner is more prone to mismanagement but the potential impact is much more indirect and remote.

    I would expect a truck driver to be tested for drugs due to the potential safety implications and danger to others on the road. I would not hold the owner of the trucking company to the same standard.

  71. I have been drug tested for the last 13 years for both school and work. Quit the fun habit the minute it was laid out that it could affect my future negatively in a big way (kicked out of school or fired). I was an 18 year old kid and I knew to stop. If they hadn’t learned their lesson from their first infractions they never will and it isn’t from addiction or youthful ignorance, it’s from them just really not giving a crap. I think the bigger issue with these guys are that they’ve never been told no, they’ve never truly had to pay for their consequences, and everyone around them makes excuses. They’re not addicts, they’re idiots and you can’t fix stupid no matter how hard you try

  72. jmac1013 says:
    Jun 4, 2014 8:19 AM
    If you don’t understand the difference between owner and employee.

    If you want to be an employee you must follow this set of rules. If you want to be an owner you must follow this set of rules. The two sets of rules are not the same. If you don’t like it…become an owner.

  73. First of all, marijuana is NOT “legal in two of the 22 states in which the NFL does business.”
    Like it or not, agree with it or not, marijuana is illegal in ALL 50 states and in all U.S. territories because its use is a violation of federal law.

    Second, you argue that the NFL has it wrong when it comes to marijuana usage by its players, but you don’t identify what it is that you would have the league do differently. You imply that the league doesn’t take into account that players like Gordon and Washington may be psychologically addicted to marijuana, but in fact their treatment under the league’s rules would have been no different had they used heroin or some other clearly addictive drug.

  74. As a physician and football fan, let me set the record straight. Marijuana, like alcohol, is an addictive substance for vulnerable individuals. Between 10 and 15% of all adult drinkers will develop alcohol dependency. The risk of addiction with marijuana is substantially higher. Just ask anybody who has ever drank a beer and smoked a joint which is more intoxicating. Because marijuana is less addictive than heroin, or because most people do not become addicted to it, does not mean that it is safe.

  75. Such BS. Smoked weed daily before joining the military when I was 20. Didnt touch it at all, knowing full well, I would lose my mediocre salary, and that was enough for me not to do it. Got out at 28 and presumed to smoke again.

    Dont give me this addiction crap. I held off to ensure my mediocre salary would sustain. They cant hold off to ensure their millions keep coming in?

  76. how can any of you say its NOT addictive. He couldn’t help but do it, at the risk of millions of dollars. Thats the definition of addiction, if i ever heard one.

    Psychologically, its extremely addictive.

  77. Enough with this garbage. These two dopes (pun 100% intended) made a conscious decision, and they’re living with the consequences. There is an excuse for everything nowadays. It’s called Accountability. Have ZERO sympathy for these two or any other player caught doing something stupid.

  78. Ps. No, today’s strains are not more potent and/or addicting than those of the 60’s.

    I wrote a 28 page paper for college on this…that is just another myth.

    And if there is a difference, at all, it’s 2-3%.

  79. And if none of that is enough…

    I turn your attention to Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

    Just google his views and videos! 😉

  80. “If I’m at a party or concert and smell the chron I am outta there!”

    Do you realize how uneducated that statement makes you sound and look?

    Almost as bad as the moron who said second hand smoke caused his positive test. Lol…which again, is completely false.

  81. Whether or not it is addictive is not the point, nor is it the employers problem.

    At some point, somewhere, you chose to use the substance. If you just continue making dumb choices, or chose at 15 and now are hooked, or whatever, it still started with a choice.

    Should you be crucified for it? No. But is an employer obligated to deal with you in a certain way because you got yourself hooked? No. Its now your responsibility to get yourself unhooked and make yourself acceptable to the employer. Addiction is not a “get out of responsibility, free” card.

  82. if pot isnt addictive then why do i have like 10 friends who cant go a day without smoking it?

    and no matter how you feel about pot doesnt matter the bottom line is this.

    its against the rules you get paid millions to play a game, put the joint down. if its not addictive then why do these guys have such a problem doing that?

  83. Pot is addictive. If you have an addictive personality, anything you do that is addictive likely will lead to other addictive behaviors. This is why so many addicts trade addictions and their lives remain chaotic. Many addicts live in denial as well (daily smokers, for one).
    As far as the league goes, rules should be the same for everyone. I agree with the comments that the NFL needs to get a clue about treating addictive personalities and the league’s double standard about pain killers, etc.

  84. As far as the “Disease” (addictive personality), it is legit, but 100% of the time there is a choice made. One can’t blame their behavior on their disease and wash their hands of the responsibility.

  85. Gordon is ADDICTED to marijuana. If you smoke only on the weekends, you are ADDICTED to marijuana. If you only drink on the weekend, but you drink every weekend you are an alcoholic. Just because you can go 5 whole days without doesn’t mean your not addicted. I’m so tired of the pro marijuana side of this argument. Does the NFL need to revisit its stance on marijuana? Probably. But, they have not done it yet. Gordon and the rest of the league need to put the damn pipe down until that happens. Period.

  86. It’s ridiculous that the same “Reefer Madness” arguments are still being rehashed from the 60’s. Pot is NOT physically addictive because you do not get sick if you cannot get it. You are not physically compelled to steal to buy it, and chronic use will not significantly shorten your life. The only “gateway” effect is primarily due to being forced to deal with the same people that sell addictive drugs by lumping pot in the same illegal category. Mostly its a social, cultural, and peer pressure type of habit that requires strong independent character to alter. Also some level can still be detected for up to a month after use, so NFL tests would pick it up long after other drugs were undetectable. It’s use is pervasive both in the NFL and society at large. NFL needs out of the pot testing business NOW.

  87. did one of these burnout losers just say “i smoke pot every day..its not addicting!”????
    someone should take Jamarcus Russles internet privileges away i see

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