NFLPA gives players 30-day marijuana warning

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Yes, the annual window for the annual random test of NFL players for recreational drugs opens on 4/20.  A full 32 days before the first day on which a player can be asked to provide a urine sample that will be tested for certain banned substances that don’t enhance performance, the NFLPA has issued a reminder to all players of the looming testing period.

It’s a smart move by the union.  With marijuana metabolites staying in a player’s system for up to 30 days, players need to know more than 30 days before they may be tested that the time has come to quit the turkey bags cold turkey.

During the “War on Drugs” of the 1980s, the NFLPA first agreed to allow players to be tested for marijuana and other illegal substances.  Whether the NFL or any employer should care what an employee does on his own time during the offseason is a different question.

We (or at least I) believe the NFL shouldn’t care if a player is smoking marijuana or taking other illegal substances unless and until they are arrested for possession or some other related violation.  Until then, it’s not for the NFL or anyone other than the authorities to exert authority over the things a player chooses to do in the privacy of his own home.

The problem has become more complicated in recent years, with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, two of the 22 states where the NFL does business.  At some point, the NFL will be forced to face the question of whether it should still prohibit marijuana use by its players.

Until then, players who aren’t in the substance-abuse program are free to smoke marijuana from the time they take their annual test until 30 days or so before the next April 20, when their next annual test can first happen.

Players who are smart and/or who don’t have an addiction to marijuana can easily navigate that limitation.  Still, it’s fair to ask whether, as to marijuana, the limitation should even exist.

95 responses to “NFLPA gives players 30-day marijuana warning

  1. Cue the marijuana posters who will say marijuana helps you with every aspect of life and no one does it just to get high because being high is fun. No there’s a deeper meaning.

  2. We (or at least I) believe the NFL shouldn’t care if a player is smoking marijuana or taking other illegal substances unless and until they are arrested for possession or some other related violation.

    ————–
    Take your steroids, it’s all good until the police catch you taking them?

  3. If and when Marijuna is legal in all 50 states. The NFL and other companies can still suspend, fine, or fire you for using it.

    Whether it’s a gateway drug, or something that is high addictive doesn’t matter. The truth is it is still something that chemcially alters your brain and if employers don’t want their paid employees using it they have every right to deny employment.

  4. C’mon NFL, get with the times! Two of your top teams play in states where marijuana has been legalized. Would you rather athletes stick to getting drunk and getting into fights, DUI’s, etc? What’s the worst that can happen? Players struggling to maintain playing weight?

  5. What a joke….wizinator anyone? Any player who gets caught doing ANYTHING has to be as dumb as a bag of beans. The worst crackhead around could beat that ‘test’.

  6. It depends on the illegal substance. I could care less about marijuana. I do care if they are on ‘roids or HGH.

    That said, they depend on the government for antitrust exemptions and the government is absolutely crazy about the ‘drug war’. So I suspect they will keep it all until the government wises up.

  7. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.

    William F. Buckley, Jr.

  8. Why does it matter if they smoke marijuana? especially in states where it is legal. I understand NFL players are role models and have an obligation to carry themselves with a professional manner but if they are in the privacy of their own home, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  9. This is what Peyton Manning calls “The Dark Month” for his Papa John’s franchises in Colorado.

  10. We (or at least I) believe the NFL shouldn’t care if a player is smoking marijuana or taking other illegal substances unless and until they are arrested for possession or some other related violation.

    ——————-

    That’s the right attitude, Florio. Let them do anything and don’t try to help or intervene BEFORE it becomes a problem that warrants arrest.

    Wow…. Just, wow…. *smh*

  11. Not sure why these fellows need the 30 day warning, but I am glad the NFLPA is looking out for their members…….

    I don’t endorse its use, but think that the NFL should not be testing for that specific drug use and only penalize if a criminal prosecution for it occurs, just the same as DUI. Driving under its influence can’t be condoned……Having it in your system, not such a big deal……..

  12. The NFL needs to add one more lawyer to its team of 3,000.
    Legalized weed in CO and WA is one example where players are subject to disparate laws

    Here’s a better one…

    Anyone is AZ can carry a gun. Licensed or unlicensed…doesn’t matter. A player off the street can buy an assault rifle on craigslist.

    Why should a player in NY (use Plaxico as an example), be subject to NFL discipline for simply not renewing his FLA carry permit a month late but a player like Darryl Washington (repeated DV offender) not be subject to anything if he were to buy an unlicensed gloc in a Walmart parking lot in Phoenix?

    The NFL needs to get out of the criminal enforcement / suspension business.

  13. HGH is legal by prescription; so are other things that are sold over-the-counter. Deer antler velvet? Ha.

    Don’t disagree with you, but legality is not the only concern.

  14. I never knew that they were only tested during a certain window. LOL I have a lot less sympathy now. If you’re too stupid to give it up for 30 days prior to your test than you deserve to be suspended.

  15. Very well written Mike, and it’s refreshing to see a media outlet/writer who sees thru the sham of “The war on drugs”.

    It’s really a war on personal liberty.

  16. I don’t think the State factor matters much. Any organization can make a company policy stating those drugs are prohibited and aren’t allowed in their workplace. Case closed.

  17. @Florio, this is one of the best statements I have heard you make..now if the Government could realize this, maybe we could actually get government of our backs… I have seen sober straight people make worse mistakes on the job than stoned people, so IMO drugs have nothing to do with anything…

  18. In most companies where I have worked, you were tested prior to hiring, and only again if you were injured on the job.

    Sounds fair to me.

  19. Good. State by state will start legalizing it as it should . Just like prohibition the war on weed will end and a billion dollar industry will take off. If your smart get in on the ground floor and bye stock now or make spacoley jokes and watch evory one else get rich.

  20. @staticphere: you said: Marijuana worsens concussions…………..IMO good weed may cause the same symptoms as concussions….lol

  21. It depends on the illegal substance. I could care less about marijuana. I do care if they are on ‘roids or HGH.
    __________________________________

    People, come on now. It’s “couldn’t care less”. If you “could care less”, that means you care about it. Derp derp.

  22. dmuehlhausen says:
    Mar 19, 2015 3:38 PM
    The truth is it is still something that chemcially alters your brain

    ——–

    By that argument, coffee or the aspirin you take that allows you to get through the day should be a no-no also.

    Face it man, booze has does a lot more damage to society than pot ever has.

  23. I was gonna get 20 sacks–but I got high. I was make great stacks–but I got high. Now I’m selling cars, and I know why, hey hey! Cause I got high–cause I got high—because I got high.

  24. It’s why it’s crazy that some guys (Josh Gordon) can’t pass the test. All you have to do is stay clean before the window, and then you can smoke until your heart’s content.

  25. Theis goes way beyond workplace rights. NFL and it’s ownership group have a right to protect their brand. Playing in the NFL is still a privilege, not a right. The overwhelming majority of NFL fans (customers) that don’t reside in the liberal fairy tale agree and prefer to not have the league filled with a bunch of stoners.

    At a time when ambulance cha…err, I mean lawyers are hell bent on punishing the NFL for concussions, the loss of cognitive ability through marijuana use is no secret to anyone with a clue. defending marijuana as harmless reflects a serious lack of understanding how the drug works.

  26. The length that it stays in your system depends on how heavy you use. If youre a heavy smoker, it will stay in your system longer. If youre just a guy who burns every now and then, you can be clean in 10-14 days. If youre a heavy user, it COULD take 30 days, but most likely you can speed up its exit by drinking lots of water to flush out youre system. Also, the amount of body fat you have adds to the duration that it stays in your system as well. That bodes well for the position players but not so well for the linemen…lol. With that said, the type of test makes a difference too. A urine test can catch you 3-4 weeks prior, but a hair test will go back 4 months! So…since you did say urine sample, I agree with the previous commenters, “if you have a 30 day notice of a urine test and you STILL get caught, youre a moron and you deserve to get fired/fined/suspended!”

  27. “…don’t have an addiction to marijuana…”

    If one actually looks into the court cases and medical research dealing with whether or not Marijuana is addictive, one should realize that there is a large cadre of high-priced corporate entities with a very real financial stake in making Marijuana appear dangerous and addictive.

    Marijuana is hard to define, if for no other reason, because it affects individuals brain chemistry differently. Combine that with the fact that different strains of pot affect different individuals differently and you will (should) soon realize why there is so much variation in the research on how pot affects people.

    Most potheads will tell you that weed CAN be psychologically addictive. Whether or not that is true really depends on a persons individual brain chemistry and upbringing. But from my own experiences smoking pot and smoking cigarettes, I know that quitting smoking cigarettes – you never really lose the cravings for cigarettes. Ever. When you stop smoking pot, you may or may not miss the fun times, but there are really no cravings. Real addiction leaves a person physically yearning for the substance. When you quit smoking pot, that doesn’t happen. Yes, you probably will still want it, if you liked it. But you will probably not feel the physically undeniable cravings like you might with alcohol or cigarettes (it’s the chemicals in cigarettes that really get you, not so much the nicotine).

    A more reasoned conversation about addiction needs to happen in our country. Whatever happens, don’t drive drunk. And please, don’t drive after mixing pot and alcohol.

  28. No one is saying Marijuana doesnt have its share of bad side effects, laziness, short term memory loss and anxiety with long term use but when compared to Alcohol(which is legal) there is no comparison.

    Alcohol can kill you from consuming too much or even detoxing from it, Pot cannot. No one in the history of the world has ever overdosed and died from pot. Alcohol ruins lives and families every single day, its responsible for more violence and fighting than Religion is.

    When was the last time you know soneone who got high on weed only and than beat their spouse or their children?

  29. Alcohol and cigs cause more harm then pot ever will ,not to mention pot is far less addictive then Percocet or Vicodin and in some cases as effective . I recently had total ACL/MCL reconstruction surgery and had problems with the DRs being paranoid about prescribing me pain killers with the new DEA laws . I wasn’t allowed to smoke pot for pain relief because its illegal and the Drs are scared to prescribes pain killers for pain relief because some Drs and people abuse the process .So now I’m in pain and can’t sleep at night and they make me out to be some kind of criminal for wanting pain pills to be taken according to instructions of the drug . So either way your a criminal in the goverments eyes and in a no win situation.

  30. A 30 day warning to stop smoking? This is an intelligence test not a drug test. If you get caught even after the warning, then you’re too stupid for words and deserve any suspension.

    Also, is the NFL still considered a private busisness if they receive public taxpayer money (stadiums)?

  31. The NFL allows them to take a hand full of pain pills and wash it down with whiskey…That makes much more sense then allowing them to vaporize/eat a plant.

  32. c’mon NFL get out of the dark ages who cares if the burn in the off-season or thier days off theses a’int no choir boys and we the open minded public could care less if the want to get “high” in their personal time.

  33. A player is under contract with the NFL and one of it’s thirty-two teams twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week and three-hundred sixty-five days a year.. that includes the off season. That means they represent the shield in everything they do and reap the various benefits (including a solid income).. is it really asking to much for players to lay-off the recreational drugs or illegal stuff?

  34. I don’t care if people smoke pot or not… but the ones that defend it as some noble act and don’t just admit it’s about getting high, ugh, just obnoxious.

  35. eport comment

    dmuehlhausen says:Mar 19, 2015 3:38 PM

    If and when Marijuna is legal in all 50 states. The NFL and other companies can still suspend, fine, or fire you for using it.

    Whether it’s a gateway drug, or something that is high addictive doesn’t matter. The truth is it is still something that chemcially alters your brain and if employers don’t want their paid employees using it they have every right to deny employment.

    Yes cause all the prescription drugs are so wonderful and guess what idiot they chemically alter your brain too. No employer should have any right to say or do anything about what you do in your personal life period so long as you still can do that job. Ups doesn’t care if employees don’t drive brown cars. And amazingly packages still get delivered.

  36. Really I don’t understand the NFL’s need to police recreational drugs. Performance enhancers – yes because it is cheating.
    Goodell should be spending his time with other issues.

  37. 30 days for a light user. LOL

    I’d say the MJ is no big deal but it has been shown to be a performance enhancer. Mostly for musicians and comedians, but a PED nonetheless.

  38. Marijuana addiction? HAHAHAHAHAHA
    ————————————————-

    If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of my pot-smoking friends say they were quitting, only to start again weeks later…

    The plant itself may not be addictive, but recreational-use is plenty addictive.

  39. The NFL should get off it’s bully pulpit on ANYTHING that doesn’t offer a competitive advantage when taken….HGH, steroids, and such – yes – those upset the competitive balance of the game.

    Is there anyone making that argument for recreational substances that do not provide a competitive advantage?

    On the players’ own time? The NFL should get out of their personal lives.

    If they happen to run afoul of the law, that becomes a different matter.

  40. thepftpoetsucksworsethenhisteam says:
    Mar 19, 2015 4:56 PM
    Ups doesn’t care if employees don’t drive brown cars. And amazingly packages still get delivered.
    ————
    If a driver get a DUI, they lose their CDL and therefore their employment.

  41. So in 2015, some folks can grow and sell it. Some go to jail, I’m confused. What is law without integrity??? If Joe Shmoe is allowed to grow it, feed his family with the profits, why is it again that we can’t???. Bcuz it’s a state thing….one nation under God in my world and my constitution. I challenge this corruption.

  42. NFL is a private company, you dont want to play by their rules, go play somewhere else. If the NFL doesnt want their employees to get high, so be it. follow the rules or pay the price like the rest of the working class.

  43. The day is coming where it will be stated. We are one nation under God again. If you can smoke I can to. Law is nothing without integrity. Right now we are kind of lawless and it’s anything goes. Unless you are Caucasian of course. Smoke till I’m dead. Ps. It’s so funny, those who say weed is so bad. Never ever tried it. Those who swear it ruins our brains. I’m laughing at you, sheep. No way your not getting profits from big alcohol or tobacco…preach freedom for one side, tread on others freedoms… This country is lost. Plus were in a war time, people blowing people up and going bonkers randomly. Is a pot smoker at home really that bad.???. I don’t care. I will puff till I can’t no more. This world can crash idgaf . Corrupt life, not at all our fault.

  44. No one is forced to play in the NFL. If the teams don’t want to pay someone who smokes weed, they don’t have to. If smoking mariuana is more important to the player, they are more than welcome to find someone else to employ them. It’s a free country for employers, too.

  45. If you are somebody that normally drinks a lot of water marijuana is out of your system(for urine tests) in 5 days. I’ve passed a urinalysis in that amount of time. It takes 30 days to get out of the blood stream.

  46. No one’s questioning the league’s right to impose whatever rules it makes concerning marijuana or anything else. The intelligence, consistency, and point of those rules is being questioned.

    Marijuana is not harmful to adults. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

  47. For those who say weed is harmless… hmmm, b.s. It gets u very messed up and no way should you drive a car or operate machinery. It’s also makes u lazy as ever. People who advocate it just want to sTay stoned with no consequences.

  48. We are less free now then anytime in history …. If cigs are legal anything should be period name one good quality of cigs Cancer ,Heart disease,high blood pressure,premature births, should I go on ?

  49. OK Im sure a lot of you are freaking out about the drug test so take a chill pill. They dont test for those. If you wanna beat the drug test theres only one way to fix it. Its time for an oil change!!!

  50. I think I might know something about this subject but I’m not sure how. If only their was something in my name, a clue to prove I know what I’m talking about.

  51. The “War on Drugs” is an excuse to erode American civil liberties, expand budgets for government law enforcement, and enable high profit off books activities by unscrupulous agencies. The fact that some people still fall for this sham is shameful in a land that is supposed to be free.

  52. “Marijuana is not harmful to adults. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
    ————————–

    Probably cigarettes, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, or wooden logs. Legalization would cut into their profits and more by being a much cheaper alternative.

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