ESC

The NFL’s New Pot Policy Is More Lenient, But Doesn’t Go Far Enough

The NFL recently approved a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union which brought a host of changes like adding a regular season game and expanding the play-offs with two more wild-card teams. One change that has flown under the radar, though, is the revision to the pot policy.

Sports Illustrated reported that change would mean no suspensions for positive marijuana tests, and added “The testing period has been limited to the first two weeks of training camp, and the threshold for a positive test has been raised from 35 to 150 nanograms of THC.”

The Sporting News additionally reports that “if a player tests positive during the two week stretch of training camp, his test is reviewed by a board of medical professionals that has been appointed by both the players and league. The board then decides if the player needs treatment.”

Here’s where the problems begin, because there are penalties for skipping this treatment and no one actually needs treatment for marijuana, zero people have ever died from smoking pot. There haven’t even been any reports of people developing lung cancer from smoking pot who didn’t also smoke cigarettes.

The question is, though, why is there any testing for cannabis at all? It’s not a performance-enhancing drug and it basically has no negative side-effects.

And more than that, football is a brutal game. All athletes put a lot of stress on their bodies, but NFL players uniquely so. CTE is rampant among former players, with some 90% likely having it. Brett Favre says he was taking a month’s supply of opioids every two days at one point and was a quarterback, one of the positions where players take the fewest hits.

So why are there any rules at all against cannabis use at all? This is a situation where letting players smoke pot instead of prescribing opioids could literally be saving lives. And it could also save us from seeing Brett Favre’s hog while he’s wearing crocs.

And  the NFL is now ahead of other sports in pot policy. For example, the Olympics strips athletes of medals for using pot. To what end are sports using these draconian anti-cannabis rules? Who benefits from this, other than Purdue Pharma? We’re legalizing cannabis across the US and across the world, and it’s time we stop punishing people for using this harmless drug.

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