It’s Time For the NFL To Lift Its Marijuana Ban

It’s Time For the NFL To Lift Its Marijuana Ban

by March 7, 2020 0 comments

The NFL has been notorious for suspending and eventually banning players from the league for violating its substance abuse policy. Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDS) should definitely be banned…but marijuana?

The MLB made a landmark move back in December to decide to no longer test players for marijuana use. It’s 2020, and I think we’re all coming to terms with the fact that marijuana has more benefits than it does harm. We’ve seen an increase of states making it legal for recreational use, but still, the NFL has been extremely harsh with its punishments.

This may finally be coming to an end as the newly proposed NFL collective bargaining agreement seeks to end player suspensions for positive tests.

The league will still test for marijuana, but according to the new policy, players will be subjected to fines and potential weekly salary loss if tested positive. Players will only be subjected to suspensions if they fail to cooperate with the league’s treatment plan; which would include failure to appear or take a test.

This is would be a major move for the NFL because positive marijuana tests have plagued players’ careers such as Josh Gordon who was recently suspended indefinitely, and former star Ricky Williams who battled with suspensions throughout his career. It is a progressive descision that would keep the livelihood of NFL players intact instead of forfeiting their whole career.

This is potentially a major change as we are moving into a time where marijuana will soon be recreational legally across the country, and be about as an issue of the past. The use of marijuana has been looked at in a negative light for a long time. Recent research, however, has made it clear that it can be beneficial to players, who put their bodies under extreme duress week in, and week out.

The NFL has allowed players to use other pain killing vices such as toradol, where players will take shot injections or pills to fight through injuries. Former Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Reggie Williams spoke on players using toradol saying, “I would seek alternative pain relief,” Williams said. “If you can’t get on the field without Toradol, don’t get on the field.” NFL players will do just about anything to stay on the field to protect their contract, which is their livelihood, even if it means popping painkillers before every game just to suit up. Why not give players a healthier method of pain relief instead of penalizing for it?

When asked about players using marijuana around the league, former NFL tight end Martellus Bennett said: “I want to say about 89 percent.” “There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they start to eat at your liver, kidneys and things like that. A human made that. God made weed.” The policy change will come down to the players’ vote, which will more than likely pass.

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