NFLPA shrugs at possibility of enforcement of federal marijuana laws

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With the Trump administration strongly hinting that federal law banning marijuana use will be enforced in states where recreational use has been legalized, the NFL Players Association sees no issue regarding its current effort to loosen the league’s current marijuana prohibition.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah described the situation as “a CBA issue, not a law-enforcement issue” in a comment to the Denver Post.

“We are talking about how players get treatment under our jointly agreed upon drug policies, not any advocacy for federal vs. state statutes,” Atallah said.

Technically, he’s right. But the proliferation of state laws allowing marijuana use for medical or recreational reasons has created the perception that the NFL is out of touch and drifting from the mainstream on the issue. If, for example, the federal government were to remove marijuana from the list of banned substances, the NFL instantly would be under immense pressure to ditch the outdated Big Shield banishment of conduct that almost always happens away from work, often during the various months when players are left to their own devices.

If the White House stops the current legalization trend and whacks the seven states where recreational use is now legal, the NFL will remain justified to fold its arms tightly and insist on significant concessions to change the current rules. Which will make it harder for the NFLPA to nudge the league to change.

As a practical matter, no change at all is needed for the vast majority of NFL players. The smart ones who smoke marijuana know that they should stop smoking roughly a month before the opening of the annual window for the once-per-year drug test (PED testing can occur at any time) and quit until that one test happens. After that, the players can smoke at will until the following March — as long as they don’t get arrested or have a bag of weed fall out of their jackets and land on the shoes of the Commissioner.

39 responses to “NFLPA shrugs at possibility of enforcement of federal marijuana laws

  1. I don’t think the administration will enforce federal marijuana laws. It serves no purpose and would have dire consequences on the President’s re-election campaign. (the majority of Americans support both medical MJ and recreational MJ).

    I think this is just saber-rattling.

    Also, keep in mind that half of the states have Medical Marijuana, and the administration drew a clear line between medical and recreational (which actually makes no sense since there is no such thing as “medical marijuana” in the eyes of the Fed).

    Marijuana will still be legal in the states it already is, and the NFL and NFLPA should continue towards a goal of removing marijuana from the NFL’s list of banned substances, both medical and recreation.

  2. Ya, lets fill up the already overcrowded prison population with recreational weed users. Another great play, Trump. Cash that $1 USFL lawsuit check yet???

  3. The comments on this site will be interesting as the majority of PFT readers are very conservative and voted for Bannon Trump.

  4. People fall under the classification of introverts or extroverts. Introverts smoke weed, extroverts drink. I like drinking and would be real pissed off if my hobby of choice was illegal

  5. It’s ridiculous for the Trump Administration – under Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III – to go after a billion-dollar industry that is creating good jobs and substantial tax revenue across the Western states. And yet that is exactly what they will do.

  6. Marijuana will still be legal in the states it already is

    ————————————————————

    don’t count on that, Trump has proven to be a crackpot and pot is still a schedule I substance and still federally banned for any use in all 50 states, just Obama chose to do nothing about it

    he could make a phone call to DOJ and end the entire pot industry in the entire US tomorrow… it’s very clearly illegal and a lawsuit going to the Supreme court couldn’t do anything at all to change that.

    as far as the NFL, I don’t think they should allow their employees to do anything illegal, these guys serve as supposed role models to our kids and should be subject to harsh discipline for breaking he law

  7. “The smart ones who smoke marijuana know….”
    ==============================

    The “smart” ones who smoke it, LOL

  8. chippys lost binky says:

    The NFL’s ‘testing’ procedure is designed to be defeated as it is.
    ================================

    The NFL doesn’t have drug tests. They call it that to check the block and act like they’re tough on drugs. They’re really intelligence tests. If you fail a test when you know way in advance when that test will be, you’re plain stupid.

  9. 3yardsndust says:

    It’s ridiculous for the Trump Administration – under Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III – to go after a billion-dollar industry that is creating good jobs and substantial tax revenue across the Western states. And yet that is exactly what they will do.
    ==================================

    It’s called enforcing laws passed by congress. Congress can change the law. Go cry about them.

  10. I don’t think the Trump administration is going to enforce federal drug laws. This administration has made it very clear that they support state’s rights. They think the people and their local representatives are more capable of ruling themselves than the federal government. These conservatives are more in favor of shrinking the federal government. They don’t want to grow the government and raise taxes. That’s what the “tax and spend liberals” do. Trump’s not a tax and spend liberal. Right?

  11. “Ya, lets fill up the already overcrowded prison population with recreational weed users.”

    That’s exactly the goal. They reversed the previous policy of moving federal prisons away from privately operated facilities which have horrible records of treatment of the inmates and rehabilitation. Private, money making prisons that will donate to Trumps reelection campaign as a result.

  12. “People fall under the classification of introverts or extroverts. Introverts smoke weed, extroverts drink. ”

    I’ve known may “extroverts” who smoke so that’s not the case.

    I’ve also known many who don’t like to drink and visa versa.

  13. Classic Republican move – if red states were too dumb to invest in an industry before it exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry, just make it illegal. Examples: Sheldon Adelson and online poker, the GOP’s opposition to solar panels, etc.

  14. The NFL’s refusal to remove marijuana from its list of banned drugs has everything to do with — you guessed it — money. The pharmaceutical and alcohol industries, whose companies are important sponsors NFL games, don’t want competition from marijuana (which is cheap to grow, provides a good high and has verified pain-relieving properties). They’ve surely told the NFL, and the NFL understands, that it will lose advertising money from them if marijuana is removed from the NFL’s list of banned drugs.

  15. Let’s waste millions enforcing and locking people up for petty offenses. Big government at it’s worst. Thanks Republicans.

  16. redlikethepig says:
    Feb 26, 2017 2:50 PM
    Let’s waste millions enforcing and locking people up for petty offenses. Big government at it’s worst. Thanks Republicans.
    =====================================

    Maybe people shouldn’t commit “petty offenses”. Personal responsibility, something democrats do not believe in. Law enforcement, something else they don’t believe in.

    And congress could have legalized it when there was a democrat president and congressional majority.

  17. .
    trumpland.
    OMG he is now banning something I like. no no he didnt really mean it. cuz its something I like.

  18. Maybe republicans should respect the millions of voters who took the successfully voted to decriminalize marijuana in both red and blue states. Maybe Donald Trump should take personal responsibility for his previous comment that it’s a states rights issue.

  19. shoutin’ get off my lawn says:

    Maybe republicans should respect the millions of voters who took the successfully voted to decriminalize marijuana in both red and blue states. Maybe Donald Trump should take personal responsibility for his previous comment that it’s a states rights issue.
    ==================================

    He’s taking responsibility for his comment that he will uphold federal laws. He campaigned on it and he won. An executive order from Obama on bathrooms isn’t a federal law. Cry to congress, they make the laws.

  20. I don’t mind people who smoke weed, they’re always a little slower at work so it makes the rest of us look better. That being said, should I really be paying for their lung cancer treatments?

  21. It doesnt matter what Trump nor Goodell decide. Belicheck will still tell Blount he cant.

  22. merde4brains says:
    Feb 26, 2017 2:20 PM
    The NFL’s refusal to remove marijuana from its list of banned drugs has everything to do with — you guessed it — money. The pharmaceutical and alcohol industries, whose companies are important sponsors NFL games, don’t want competition from marijuana (which is cheap to grow, provides a good high and has verified pain-relieving properties). They’ve surely told the NFL, and the NFL understands, that it will lose advertising money from them if marijuana is removed from the NFL’s list of banned drugs.

    ————————————-

    “Todays game brought to you by United Cannibis”

  23. Poll in Texas Trib recently had the majority of Texans in favor of Medical Marijuana legalization for the first time ever.

    Despite Session’s revival of ignorance and misinformation (notably, that marijuana leads to opioid use, when in fact states which have legalized have seen a decrease in opioid overdoses…because common sense) the truth is that the public tide has already turned on marijuana. You can’t put that one back in the tube, sorry to say.

    The actual scientific data on the benefits of marijuana use and marijuana legalization is overwhelming at this point, and the people clinging to the old myths of “reefer madness” are ignorant. (Or profiting off of private prisons.)

    It is certainly troubling to me that the NFLPA doesn’t do more to push this issue. Not only because most (as in the majority, by far) pro football players smoke weed, but also because it has potential to protect against CTE and is an excellent non-opioid pain reliever.

    Football players– bother your NFLPA representative on this. You are grown men— if something is legal and is not performance enhancing– the league has no business telling you not to use it. If it has actual health benefits, preventing CTE and chronic pain– the NFL and NFLPA both could/should be culpable for the denigration of your long-term health.

  24. Comrade Trump’s anti-capitalist, anti-states rights, and pro-KGB stances have Ronald Reagan rolling in his grave.

  25. Trump and the government is not doing nothing. They have been fighting Pot for how long? It’s been here since the dawn of time and will be here until time ends. What needs to be done is get some tough in the government. This country is and has been governed by people that need oxygen tanks just to breathe. It’s time that ended

  26. shoutin’ get off my lawn says:

    Comrade Trump’s anti-capitalist, anti-states rights, and pro-KGB stances have Ronald Reagan rolling in his grave.
    ———————————————–

    Go cuddle a puppy and you’ll feel better.

  27. abninf says:

    It’s called enforcing laws passed by congress. Congress can change the law.

    You’re right, congress can and should fix it once and for all. However, lets not pretend this is just about straight-up “enforce the law” .. for one, the 28 states with medical marijuana laws are just as in conflict with federal law as the recreational states are; however, cuffing grannies in wheelchairs makes for bad PR, so that part of federal law will likely be ignored, conveniently.

    Also, the argument that the commerce clause gives such broad powers to the feds on the subject of drug laws that don’t involve interstate commerce, is still a dubious constitutional position, one SCOTUS decision notwithstanding.

    Lastly, there simply aren’t the resources at the federal level to enforce marijuana laws on the ground in all the states. There aren’t enough DEA agents to raid down all the dispensaries in Los Angeles county, much less the rest of the 7 legal recreational states. Drug laws are traditionally enforced by state and local authorities, and in those 7 states, at least, the voters have said they want their tax dollars to have other priorities.

  28. abninf says:

    He’s taking responsibility for his comment that he will uphold federal laws. He campaigned on it and he won.

    Actually, in Nevada in October, he specifically said, and I quote, “I really believe we should leave it up to the states.” – those were Donald Trump’s own words.

    He made identical statements on the matter in Colorado. Of course, this was before the election, and CO and NV are swing states.

    Still, either he’s a man of his word, as he claims, or he isn’t.

  29. It’s a legal issue and the NFL should stay on the side of the law. For now, it’s illegal federally everywhere . How could any CBA change that would be interpreted as promoting an illegal activity even be contemplated. Drinking alcohol is legal. Drinking excessive alcohol and driving is illegal. Should they also change the CBA to say it’s OK to drink excessively and drive as long as you don’t get stopped?

  30. mongo3401 says:
    Feb 26, 2017 6:18 PM
    Trump and the government is not doing nothing. They have been fighting Pot for how long?

    ———————————-
    8 1/2 weeks?

  31. Maybe people shouldn’t commit “petty offenses”. Personal responsibility, something democrats do not believe in. Law enforcement, something else they don’t believe in.

    And congress could have legalized it when there was a democrat president and congressional majority.
    –abninf
    _________________________________

    There’s that famous right wing flaming superiority complex warping another loser’s reality.

    Sorry dude, Obama let it be. It’s your orange skinned cancerous conman who’s turning the legal screws. Obama left unenforced federal marijuana laws remain dormant.

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