Here’s the annual “stop smoking” PSA to NFL players

Getty Images

One of the reasons that the NFL Players Association will never make a significant concession in exchange for the potential elimination of the prohibition on marijuana use is that most players know how to avoid testing positive for marijuana.

For those who don’t know — and for those who may have forgotten — here’s an important reminder: Stop smoking now.

To the extent that 30 days are needed to clear all marijuana metabolites from the system, the clock is now ticking. The window for annual testing for recreational drugs opens on April 20 (yes, 4/20). To ensure that there won’t be a positive, the safest approach involves stopping any marijuana use right now.

Although random testing for PEDs can happen at any time, the ban on recreational drugs entails only one test per year, for players not already in the substance-abuse program. Once that test has been taken, the player becomes free and clear to smoke all he wants, absent a violation of the law for marijuana possession or having a bag of weed fall out of his pocket while in the presence of the Commissioner.

So if you’re not in the program, stop smoking now. And if you can hold out for a month (yes, it was the latest Cam Newton story that reminded me of this point), you’ll be good to go once you have your one offseason test under the substance-abuse policy.