Jerry Jones: Expect a marijuana adjustment to NFL’s substance-abuse policy

Getty Images

The MLB no longer tests for marijuana, and the NFL may be following suit, eventually.

“I think that you should expect and will expect an adjustment” of the league’s prohibition on marijuana use, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.

Jones added that the ban on marijuana use could be lifted as part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Jones has long been arguing against the league’s stance on marijuana, which polices the private lives of players in furtherance of an outdated “war on drugs.” Adopted, as most disciplinary policies are, as a P.R. move by the league, there’s no longer a P.R. benefit to be derived from banning marijuana use.

Instead, the marijuana prohibition now does more harm than good, keeping quality players from being available to play.

But the league can’t simply abandon the ban on marijuana and the testing program that goes along with it. The NFL will surrender the right to test and punish only through collective bargaining with the union.

Which raises an inherently practical consideration: What would the NFLPA give up to get rid of the rule that prohibits marijuana use? Not much, since players who know how to navigate the process can easily do so, passing the annual test and smoking at will for the rest of the year.

Unless the league simply walks away from the marijuana ban, the only way to save face would be to throw the marijuana policy into the broader bucket of terms exchanged by the parties as part of the full-blown CBA. It would then appear that the NFL got something for giving up the marijuana prohibition, even if the NFL doesn’t really get anything in return.

But the NFL would indeed get something in return, because the evolution of societal views on marijuana have created a reality in which the very existence of the marijuana ban hurts the NFL more than it helps it, by keeping good football players from being available to play, for no good reason.

69 responses to “Jerry Jones: Expect a marijuana adjustment to NFL’s substance-abuse policy

  1. Enough already, dump weed testing if for no other reason than we won’t have to hear about from the lettuce heads every time a player gets hit with a suspension that “it’s only weed” as though that’s the only thing players ever use.

  2. I’m fine with this as long as PLAYERS sign an ironclad waiver that prohibits them (or any of their family, friends or legal representatives)from suing the NFL when the PLAYER becomes addicted to weed and/or escalates to other illegal drugs.
    Smoking weed is a CHOICE made by the PLAYER, the employer (NFL and its franchises) should NOT be made legally liable for the consequences of the PLAYER smoking weed or using crack, coke, meth, bath salts, etc.
    Moreover, I propose that if a player is cut or waived as a result of using illegal drugs, that the NFL team receive NO cap penalty as a result of the transaction.
    This way when players become potheads, NFL teams can move on from without hesitation or cap consequences.
    This way, everyone is happy, the player has all the free time he wants to smoke weed and the NFL team can find a weed-free replacement player.

  3. That’s why I feel Gordon will be out of the league sooner than later just like Blackmon. They are all told on April 20th of this year @ 4:20 PM you will have a marijuana test. Stay sober for 2 weeks & you will pass no problem. More like 2 days because in a highly trained athlete with a low body fat index, you’ll just pee it out. Marijuana will stay in your system up to 30 days if you are super fat but thin people gone in days. These 2 knuckleheads couldn’t even put down the spliff for 2 days basically. That’s totally sad.

  4. gotitan says:
    December 13, 2019 at 1:09 pm
    Not true. There are plenty of good reasons to test for it. Ask my boss.

    ——————

    They don’t test to see if you’ve been drinking in your off time, why should they care if you had a little weed instead. There’s almost no difference with the biggest difference being that the government taxes the hell out of the former.

    Hmmm, maybe we’ve hit on something.

  5. Why does it have to be a quid pro quo? Just drop testing because it’s the right thing to do…

  6. Once they’re ready to put the new rule in place, they ought to invite Ricky Williams to sign it.

  7. I wish my employer felt that way. I work in a office setting and yet if I were to test positive for MJ I would be fired on the spot. I could understand it if I drove a truck or school bus. Times are changing and employers need to realize this and be realistic.

  8. Anyone stupid enough to get caught under the current agreement where they know exactly when they will be tested, but still can’t get out of their own way, will find some other way to get in trouble. You will never meet the stupidest person you are ever going to meet. You can’t compensate for that reality no matter how many crutches you build…

  9. Having been part of a few contract negotiations in the past, I’ll say this. The players are out of their collective mind if they give up anything for this. This is going to happen. There’s no need to give up anything… for this.

  10. In an alternate universe the league is considering making sugar a non banned substance.

    As silly as it reads, don’t dismiss the problems created by our addiction to sugar. And I’m not saying we should ban everything that can be harmful in excess. I guess I’m saying don’t look down too hard on another addiction unless you explore your own addictions first.

    Regardless of substance, they have probably justified their addiction just as you have justified your own.

  11. dryzzt23 says:
    December 13, 2019 at 1:09 pm
    I’m fine with this as long as PLAYERS sign an ironclad waiver that prohibits them (or any of their family, friends or legal represent….
    _____________________________________________

    You do realize that there are millions of successful people in everyday jobs as well as elite jobs that consume cannabis everyday, right?

  12. dryzzt23 says:
    December 13, 2019 at 1:09 pm
    I’m fine with this as long as PLAYERS sign an ironclad waiver that prohibits them (or any of their family, friends or legal representatives)from suing the NFL when the PLAYER becomes addicted to weed and/or escalates to other illegal drugs.
    Smoking weed is a CHOICE made by the PLAYER, the employer (NFL and its franchises) should NOT be made legally liable for the consequences of the PLAYER smoking weed or using crack, coke, meth, bath salts, etc.
    Moreover, I propose that if a player is cut or waived as a result of using illegal drugs, that the NFL team receive NO cap penalty as a result of the transaction.
    This way when players become potheads, NFL teams can move on from without hesitation or cap consequences.
    This way, everyone is happy, the player has all the free time he wants to smoke weed and the NFL team can find a weed-free replacement player.

    —–

    Addicted to weed? You really are a caveman. Do you have to sign a waiver for alcohol which actually physically addictive and is proven to lead to harder drugs more often then weed?

  13. factschecker says:
    December 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    In an alternate universe the league is considering making sugar a non banned substance.

    As silly as it reads, don’t dismiss the problems created by our addiction to sugar. And I’m not saying we should ban everything that can be harmful in excess. I guess I’m saying don’t look down too hard on another addiction unless you explore your own addictions first.

    Regardless of substance, they have probably justified their addiction just as you have justified your own.
    ___________________________________________________

    Other than the fact that using sugar doesn’t run the risk of precluding you from working in your chosen profession and making millions of $$$ that you will never make in another profession, you are right. Other than that…

    BTW I am for legalization. It is not a weed thing it is a stupid thing as there is no real evidence that weed is addictive and even if it were all they have to do is not smoke for a couple weeks in April and it’s all good. Unless they decide to ride around dirty.

  14. legal in many countries and states
    medical and recreational benefits well known
    no performance enhancement is achieved with use

  15. Jerry Jones also wants an 18-game schedule. Let’s not be foolish to think the NFL will say “ok… we change our minds. Weed is ok” No… they are willing to let weed be ok in exchange for an 18 game schedule. I can just see the negotiations now:

    NFL “Yeah… you’ll be really sore because of the extra games but you can smoke all the weed you need to recover”

  16. Jerruh wants to get rid of it because so many of his players are always getting suspended for it. He probably wants to get rid of everything so he can sign every dirtbag player and not worry about them ever missing a game unless they’re in jail.

  17. I had a friend who had his investment bank offer rescinded, all because he tested positive for herb. The investment bank had just started testing new hires, he didn’t anticipate so he didn’t change his smoking habits.

    Their loss, he would have made an excellent employee.

    Jerrah is a bit of a caricature. I think he had an epiphany, that a much larger percentage of his players could test positive than those on other teams. I simply don’t believe that Jerrah is changing with the times, that isn’t like him.

  18. On the one hand – it’s astonishing that NFL players be punished for marijuana.

    On the other hand – millions of people have lost huge parts of their lives being put in jail – a cage – for marijuana. And the taxpayers foot about $45k/year per person to keep them in that cage.

    The war on drugs was a horrible..horrible mess.

    And I say this as someone who doesn’t smoke weed (no need to be more tired and forgetful than I already am).

    What a tragedy

  19. So the NFLPA needs to “give up” something in order to be treated like free men? Hilarious. People are getting rich off pot, legally, in the United States. Enough with this.

    Big ups to Jerry for using to influence on this issue. It’s time we stop punishing people for smoking weed in lieu of eating vicodin and percocet.

  20. The NFL gets more of its players on the field when it is not suspending them for archaic reasons. The NFLPA should not give up ANYTHING in return for this. This is good for the NFL, to ask for something on top of that is more greed by the owners. They should try and start working with good faith at times instead of always playing the heel role. Goodell is a master at playing the heel.

  21. I don’t understand your position that the NFL needs to “save face” and not just eliminate the marijuana ban. Actually, immediately getting rid of it would be “saving face”. The more humiliating thing to do would be to keep it in place and try to “get something back” from the players in exchange for joining the 21st century.

  22. At minimum, they need an exemption for medical reasons, and if pain management is an acceptable exception, then every dang NFL player justifiably would be exempt — except maybe kickers.

  23. Outdated rule dumb for reasons, no one in the history of pot (8,000 years+) have ever considered it “Performance Enhancing”. Alcohol is allowed and has never helped with aches and pains.

  24. Sweet. Now the players can show up stoned on game day, then hit Taco Bell on the way home.

  25. The NFL should not do anything until the Federal Government reclassifies the substance.

  26. Whether all of us like it or not, the world keeps turning. America is the land of the free, so you can’t really ask our military to sacrifice their lives for freedom if you’re just kidding.

  27. Jerry Jones and the owners don’t care about weed, and many of them probably smoke it. They just do whatever they think their paying fans want. If the average NFL fan wanted to ban a player for being too American, they’d do that too. It’s all about dollars.

  28. codylaws says:
    December 13, 2019 at 4:48 pm
    So basically NFL will allow players come play the game high. Hum, they should allow them to play the games drunk as well.
    ——-

    Well, since they don’t test them for alcohol, I guess by your really terrible reasoning, they’ve been allowed to show up drunk for games for 50 years.

  29. tylawspick6 says:
    December 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm
    Yay! A sensible NFL decision. Banner day!

    No apologize for the Jerome Boger ref crew from last Sunday. Suspend the entire crew without pay.

    NOW

    46 30 Rate This

    Poor Ms.law,she’s still upset over the shellacking by the Ravens & Chiefs

  30. If the Rappers didn’t smoke it, promote it non-stop, neither would the most the players who do. No way a player who makes a precious roster spot is gonna use before a game. Who needs stupidity & cotton-mouth on the field. It’s a great relaxer after the game when ache’s come. Nothing more than that really.

  31. zonkerharris213 says:

    December 13, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    I had a friend who had his investment bank offer rescinded, all because he tested positive for herb. The investment bank had just started testing new hires, he didn’t anticipate so he didn’t change his smoking habits.

    Their loss, he would have made an excellent employee.

    Jerrah is a bit of a caricature. I think he had an epiphany, that a much larger percentage of his players could test positive than those on other teams. I simply don’t believe that Jerrah is changing with the times, that isn’t like him.
    ———-
    I’m all for legalization but it definitely wasnt the company’s loss not keeping your friend. Your friend wasnt any smarter than the players who get caught and test positive. Your friend knew it was a possibility he could be tested but wasnt smart enough to stop until he figured out how they do testing.

  32. The only type of substances the league should be testing for are performance enhancing drugs. If the NFL wants to test for illegal drugs then random drug testing should apply to team owners , GMs, scouts , secretaries and players . Then we will really see what is what

  33. Lol. Baseball, Basketball and Hockey rules have barely changed in the last 100 years. Meanwhile,every year drunk NFL owners can’t figure out what a catch is or how to properly defend a receiver without a city missing the Superbowl, so they change the rules, change the kickoff, change the challenge flags, etc. I don’t think Fangio’s idea is perfect but the top 8 in each conference is a solid plan. For Dallas’ bighead son to claim that Tradition” is a big deal and the reason not to change things is weak. Ask the tuck rule, the Saints Superbowl run last year or his own Dez Bryant’s TD catch a few years ago to understand that dumb changes, that nobody understands, happen every year. Top 8 should be in playoffs and top 4 should host.

  34. I am for legalization across the board. However I think they should prohibit any advertising or affiliation with pot companies, and seriously look at their association with alcohol products. And players should be prohibited from being publicly intoxicated or even talking about drugs/alcohol outside of PSAs. There are still millions of children who watch the game and emulate their idols. The NFL has a responsibility to those kids

  35. My only slight concern with this is that if a player is using marijuana during game day or practices it will be impossible to detect because marijuana stays in the human body so long. So if someone is acting high there is no way to know if the THC buildup is from the night before or weeks of usage. We don’t want intoxicated people playing football. That being said the pain relief and anxiety relief benefits outweigh the potential negatives in my opinion.

  36. Im not holding my breath. It should have been a long time ago. As long as its on their personnal time and not affecting their job WTF is the problem. Its true some players careers fot destroyed over this but the NFL doesnt have a problem promoting alcool and junk food SMH. They also put players on heavy plain medication that marijuana derivated products can help and not get them hooked on pills.

    Player safety yeah right…

  37. cjpom664 says:
    December 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    Think of all the careers ruined because of punishment from marijuana use.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The punishments/consequences were KNOWN when the players chose to break the rules. That is completely on the players, not the consequences. Regardless of which side we are on in the weed debate the fact remains that the players knew what could happen, thought they could get away with it and then complained when they got caught. You might not like the rule but it is a current rule.

  38. This is a huge problem, not just the NFL.

    It’s not an employers business what employees consume in their off time.
    Current testing doesn’t distinguish between ‘smoked last weekend’ or ‘high right now’.

    Come up with a test that determines if somebody is actually high on the clock.
    Use that to fire folks, not because what they did on their own time.

    Nobody gets paid 24/7. What we do on our day off is private.

    Employers are losing good people with foolish policies.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.