NFLPA hoping for “less punitive” approach to recreational marijuana

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When it comes to marijuana, the NFL continues to be trapped in the days of Reefer Madness. The NFL Players Association hopes to change that.

In a meeting with Washington Post reporters and editors, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union is preparing a proposal to make the substance-abuse policy “less punitive” when it comes to recreational marijuana use. If approved by the NFLPA’s board of player representatives, the proposal will be presented to the NFL.

“We will sit down and we will present a proposal to our board,” Smith said. “If our board approves the proposal, we’ll sit down with the league and we will make the proposal to them. If we think that this is medically, scientifically and therapeutically the right position, then we tell the league, ‘Therapeutically, medically and scientifically, this is the right position.’”

It all seems reasonable, fair, and appropriate, but the threshold problem is this: If the union wants to change the policy, the union needs to be ready to make a concession. That’s how collective bargaining works; it’s a quid pro quo, a tit-for-tat. Mutual backscratching.

So if the NFLPA wants to soften the policy, the NFLPA needs to be ready to give the NFL something it wants.

Also factoring into any looming negotiations between the league and the union on this point will be the future of recreational and medicinal marijuana use, after Jeff Sessions becomes the Attorney General. He has spoken out against legalized marijuana in the past, and he could choose to enforce the federal ban on marijuana use in the various states that have legalized it. If that happens, it would be much harder to justify a softening of the league’s attitude toward a substance that is both banned and once again illegal from coast to coast.

63 responses to “NFLPA hoping for “less punitive” approach to recreational marijuana

  1. The problem is the moment the “high” sets in, and you’re feeling mellow and warm and reflective and happy…you realize Roger Goodell is your boss and goes to sleep in a pile of $100 bills that your injuries and brain trauma paid for.

    Roger can’t risk that kind of realization.

    And a buzzkill like that is a huge waste of weed.

  2. Until they get a better way to govern it , they should ban marijuana use. There will be to many abusers as apposed to ” medical ” users…..its just not safe to approve it

  3. Good luck. It’s about time the NFL opens its eyes. Marijuna is proven to be far safer. Than the pills pharmaceutical companies push down thier( our throats) . Nowhere near the horrible side affects or addiction rate. Grown ups should be able to decide thier own medicine . The United states needs to end the corruption THATS keeping reefer madness alive . It’s all proven lies ,

  4. Of course. When you represent a bunch of potheads, you try to make the illegalities sound righteous

  5. Do not test for marijuana anymore. No penalty for anything marijuana related unless they have been charged with a crime. Then treat it like a DUI.

  6. A) I pay my doctor for my prescription of weed, legitimately. My money goes into the “system”.

    B) I buy my weed from a “fake” doctor on the streets/ my money goes to Canada / Mexico.

    Your Call, Jeff Sessions.

  7. It doesn’t matter what they say the penalty is. Article 46. Goodell can fine or suspend 1 player for smoking a joint, and let another player, more probable than not a Giant player, go unpunished. Aren’t ya glad you all cheered Brady getting railroaded?

  8. Smith: Here’s our proposed change on marijuana use.
    Goodell (in Jdge Smails voice: You’ll get nothing & like it.
    Smith: We are willing to make it part of an 18 game season agreement.
    Goodell: This bud’s for you, tell me more.

  9. Irsay was found with a bag of cash and pills in his car, and yet got less than martavis bryant, who just smoked weed.

    Goodell’s NFL.

  10. I have been telling ya for years the NFL will deal its on brand of weed to NFLPA members someday !

  11. How about let them? As long as its not at work, its ludicrous for an employer to try to control something thats legal to the general public.

  12. dwoofer says:
    Jan 25, 2017 10:22 AM

    Of course. When you represent a bunch of potheads, you try to make the illegalities sound righteous

    ——————

    It should be legal. Alcohol should be outlawed before weed. If you really believe that weed should still be a crime and you drink and feel alcohol should stay legal, the hypocrisy is so extreme here people probably have a hard time trying to reason anything with you.

  13. Time for the NFL, et al to grow up and accept the fact that cannabis is here, it has always been here, it will always will be here (it’s a weed) and the only reason it is illegal is because of lies! Stop buying yesterday’s lies put forth for political reasons and accept reality.

  14. Every single Packers player should have been tested after the NFC championship. Why people want to watch a bunch of stoned morons drop simple passes and blunder around is beyond me. Is it that when you are also stoned at home it all somehow evens out?

  15. Ok lets go backward. Have everyone go back on the streets to get medicated so they can get an unsafe product.

  16. About time.

    Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Of those states, Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Colorado’s first retail marijuana stores opened Jan. 1 for sale to people 21 years and older.

  17. The players could end this policy if they wanted to – and make almost no concessions.

    Have a whole team – or even 3/4s of a team including some stars publicly and legally use marijuana in the off season.

    Sometimes you dont need to strike to change collective bargaining. You just need to show the employer that the policy can be just as bad for the employer as the employee.

  18. Even if the league doesn’t want to allow recreation weed, there is absolutely zero reason not to allow CBD products.

    For those of you who don’t know, there are 2 compounds in marijuana that are of value. One is THC, the compound which gets you high.

    The other is CBD which is the actual painkilling compound and has zero psychoactive side effects, ie it does not get you high only kills pain.

    CBDs are non-addictive, and do not have the negative side effects of opioid painkillers. Given the league is under attack in the form of lawsuits for having forced opioids on players against their will, its surprising they don’t embrace the CBD products as a great solution.

    Of course the league does not operate with common sense or anything but greed driving it, which is why they make terrible mistake after terrible mistake.

  19. What is not safe about marijuana? It makes you lazy? No, thats just lazy people. It’s a gateway drug? No thats just experimental people. It is an alternative to pills as medication for sick people and would cost pharmaceutical companies billions that they couldn’t use to bribe others? Yeah sounds about right. The only argument I have ever seen that is good against marijuana is that they cant test for it if you are impaired and driving. Although the impairment of that isnt comparable to drinking and driving. It’s not crazy to think its still illegal because it would cost the super rich money, it’s crazy to think people actually believe it’s still detrimental because of the BS they are spewing! I am sure it will be a topic of the next CBA with US states legalizing it at their own state level. For now they should probably hold off during testing because Goodell with hammer you.

  20. Look, the NFL is in bed with the pharmaceutical companies that provide the opiates that these players take, so unless you can figure out a way that they will still get their money, they aren’t going to go easy on, or allow marijuana.

    That’s half the reason the government keeps it illegal. There’s just no money to be made from a plant that folks can grow at home.

  21. It is against the rules, yet we know that players are playing high. If it becomes “less punitive”, then that will encourage more players to play high even more. Sure that might be fun to watch, but it is going to make the product worse to watch overall.

    You are paid millions of dollars to play a game. Save your green until the offseason. If it’s not addictive, why are players getting popped when they know the test is coming? They simply must not care. If your favorite players don’t care about being suspended, they don’t really care about your favorite team. If they don’t care about the team and they actually play, why should you care enough to get invested in the games, buying their merch, or even watching on TV?

    Heck, maybe the league as a whole doesn’t care about anything other than being sued and making money. If they really cared about fair competition, they would test players after the games for PEDs, HGH, drugs, etc and suspend violators. The league knows if they did that, they would lose the majority of their rosters and their house of cards would fall. In reality, the whole thing is a fraud. Roger has got one over on us all.

  22. Quite frankly, the league needs to be saved from itself on this issue. Having some of your most dynamic players suspended for a year or more for some recreational, non-performance-enhancing drug use, which often takes place in the off season, is not something that really resonates with fans or helps to make the game more popular.

    I think by pushing this as hard as they can, the NFLPA is essentially giving the league a way to back out of the current policy and still save some face (“The NFLPA made us do it!”). To me, that’s a kind of gift and no further concessions should be necessary.

  23. cadreamer1969 says:
    Jan 25, 2017 10:57 AM

    About time.

    Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Of those states, Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Colorado’s first retail marijuana stores opened Jan. 1 for sale to people 21 years and older.

    Recreational use is legal in Oregon and Alaska too, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts passed legislation for recreational use Nov 8th. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have approved it for medicinal use.

  24. Next on the NFLPA wish list –

    Reduce penalties for:

    Domestic violence
    Resisting arrest
    Driving with a suspended license
    Possession of an unlicensed firearm
    Open containers of purple drank

  25. “Smoke In” in Seattle.
    Will the NFL cancel 2017 season if a few hundred players smoke legally. The players have much more power than they know. What would the NFL give up just not to have a smoke in?
    Toke together or hang alone.

  26. .
    It’s doubtful that the average fan views weed in the same category as PEDs. One causes you to become a roid rage psycho. The other, will leave you on the couch watching the “Two Broke Girls” marathon.
    .

  27. oswizard says:
    Jan 25, 2017 10:36 AM
    dwoofer says:
    Jan 25, 2017 10:22 AM

    Of course. When you represent a bunch of potheads, you try to make the illegalities sound righteous

    ——————

    It should be legal. Alcohol should be outlawed before weed. If you really believe that weed should still be a crime and you drink and feel alcohol should stay legal, the hypocrisy is so extreme here people probably have a hard time trying to reason anything with you.

    ***

    Alcohol was outlawed, but there was/is too much money in alcohol for that to even be possible. Its all about the money. The biggest (not only) market for marijuana is teenagers to mid 30’s.

    You also don’t need medical treatment for weed dependence/abuse in the way you do for alcohol. Another money market.

  28. Booze consumption is directly responsible for over 88,000 deaths annually in this country alone. This plus another 16,000 traffic fatalities directly attributed to alcohol intoxicated drivers.

    Cannabis has never killed a single person due to toxic overdose in all medical history and has almost no statistical record of traffic problems.

    Why isn’t cannabis legal?

  29. Anyone who tries to argue that Weed is just like alcohol… is HIGH. It’s not.

    Weed is more invasive and altering, creating lethargy. No way I’d employ anyone recreationally using it, in any form.

  30. I used to smoke weed in college but stopped because I didn’t really care for it. I also used to drink alcohol. I still drink alcohol, but I used to, too.
    I enjoy the hell out of a cold beer. I find it very strange that other adults can’t enjoy a little weed.

  31. I smoked a lot of weed in my day but quit because I realized that no matter what you think, smoking anything is not good for you. Beyond that, most of my friends that continued to smoke never really advanced very far in their careers. It makes you disinterested at best. If you need to smoke week or drink alcohol to feel good about your life then you have some deeper issues with which to contend. If an NFL player is willing to put millions of dollars of compensation at risk just to smoke some weed then said player has some serious issues…..and smoking weed won’t help.

  32. Alcohol is promoted by the NFL, but weed is bad…..?

    “But you know this war on drugs it’s funded by the Tobacco and Alcohol Commissions
    It’s not what drugs you’re strung out on they care about as much as whose” -Todd Snider “Tension”

  33. oswizard says:
    Jan 25, 2017 10:26 AM
    Do not test for marijuana anymore. No penalty for anything marijuana related unless they have been charged with a crime. Then treat it like a DUI.
    ——————————————————

    DING DING DING DING DING!

    This person wins this discussion, hands down. The NFL tests for it, which is the major problem. Stop testing for it and you fix the problem without specifically condoning its use.

    When players get busted for possession or operating under the influence, then you punish them. Let the law deal with these issues.

  34. I think the NFL’s punishments for marijuana are ridiculous; that said, if you’re a player not in the league’s Substance Abuse Program, you only get tested within a one-month window.

  35. The problem is we all know the NFL will want something back in exchange for this SENSIBLE PROPOSAL by the NFLPA.

    The NFL just can’t do what’s right. They’re going to want the players to agree to an 18-game season or taking less in the revenue sharing plan, something.

    The NFL always wants something and will never do something beneficial for the players, simply because it’s the right thing to do.

    #firegoodell

  36. Ask yourself why doctors always prescribe the NEWEST drugs out??? Its a big racket folks…

    Alcohol is legal because of the problems it causes.. It keeps the courts, judges and police in business…

    With MJ, most people sit home and relax…

  37. Another alternative pain therapy called KRATOM… well the DEA is trying to make it ILLEGAL.. SMH

  38. All of the people who say that the NFL should change its policies regarding weed and stop testing for it seem to be ignoring a couple of key factors.

    First, the NFL is a for-profit business that, like all businesses, attempts to maximize profits based on the good will of its customers. A sizeable portion of those customers still frown on marijuana use and would be less likely to buy jerseys for their children and take them to games if they believed the players were stoners. Removing the marijuana ban would therefore not be wise from a business standpoint.

    Also, Congress would get involved, and would probably hold hearings on the matter, and would probably threaten the limited anti-trust exemption that currently allows the league to market media rights to its games as a single entity.

  39. “Until they get a better way to govern it , they should ban marijuana use. There will be to many abusers as apposed to ” medical ” users…..its just not safe to approve it”

    Lol ya right, how many teams are in California where recreational marijuana is now legal bruh?

  40. MJ should not be illegal, but it is not some kind of panacea for medical use either. The system is fully gamed by charlatans, as usual. You have moron hipsters trying to tell you, enforce on you, that MJ is good for bad stomach, gout, pink-eye, migraines, eczema and herpes just to mention a few. What you got? MJ is perfect for that. Riiiiight.

    Its good for getting you high.

  41. They should just remove it from the banned substance list altogether. Many of these players are great young men who are very active in the community, volunteering their time to help others. Most of them also went to college and are smart enough to know what’s the best way to take care of themselves. There are no known health issues with pot. There are many, many health issues with alcohol, but it’s in every locker room. The NFLPA needs to do a better job of looking out for the players. This would be a good step.

  42. the question is moot. the new Attorney General will send the legal cannabis (both recreational & medical) industry back to the stone ages.

  43. Wow……after reading alot of these comments, it is beyond obvious how many of the posters hit the bong!

    Yikes……stay off the roads people!

    Also, the argument that the players should join a csive efort to protest/not play…..I say fine do it! Get replacement players.

    Why? The NBA and MLB already have a TERRIBLE model that guarantees bums’ contracts for years, and the products of the NBA and MLB is absolutely terrible!

    No thanks for the players getting more power…….that begins the downfall of a great NFL!

  44. My business parter smokes pot and is worthless those many mornings when he comes in all high and flyin and stuff…. totally worthless…. I tell him to go home and come back clear headed. I cannot have him dealing with clients all cloudy headed…. serious business requires serious intention/execution…He is not a drinker and considers himself ‘sober’….except for pot…..anyone got any help you can share on what to do?…..

  45. How about stop testing for it and just use the alcohol abuse policy. Show up sober to work or you are suspended, but do anything you want that is legal in your time.

    If you are in a state where it is illegal respect the law. If you are chafes with a crime you get suspended.

  46. curtj5 says:
    Jan 25, 2017 12:44 PM
    “God created weed….Man created booze. I’ll go with God.”

    Um God created Man so he created beer also bruh

    ———

    Man created the burning and inhaling part.

  47. boca12 says:
    Jan 25, 2017 2:12 PM
    My business parter smokes pot and is worthless those many mornings when he comes in all high and flyin and stuff…. totally worthless…. I tell him to go home and come back clear headed. I cannot have him dealing with clients all cloudy headed…. serious business requires serious intention/execution…He is not a drinker and considers himself ‘sober’….except for pot…..anyone got any help you can share on what to do?…..

    ———-

    Force a buy out. Whichever one of you bids the most keeps the company and the other cashes out.

  48. I’ve successfully negotiated testing upon hiring 5-6 times in the past 20 years. Abstinence, masking. Be prepared.

    It is an intelligence test, not a drug test.

  49. Of course the sanctioning of wacky tabacky is going to make the league tons more money. Open up pot kiosks in the stadiums and watch the cheese nacho sales skyrocket! The fans won’t care if the team sucks any more so no reason to pay players big salaries.

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