The NFL’s rules on pot are getting ready to change. It remains somewhat unclear just how they will change, but some change is imminent. Commissioner Goodell has a history of equivocating and not really taking a firm stance on cannabis, but even he has mentioned over the last couple of months that they are open to changing their stance if the science backs it up. This is kinda silly to those of us “in the know” regarding cannabis. After all, we’ve been waiting for science to simply verify all the cool shit weed does that we already know.
ESPN states, “The NFL Players Association has expressed to the league an interest in studying the medical research that has led to the legalization of marijuana in many states for medicinal use, but it believes changes are needed in the meantime regardless.” Time is ticking by and clearly, this is becoming a bigger PR debacle than the NFL wants to deal with, so they are trying to get ahead of it to some extent.
Some estimate that around 25% of NFL players regularly get stoned. Unless they are under active inquiry for a drug offense, players do not get randomly tested during the season, only during a four-month window in the offseason. That means that the majority of cannabis use in the NFL goes unchecked and unnoticed. To me, that should send a clarion call that cannabis really isn’t that bad if many players use it frequently without anyone even noticing an issue. This is kind of how I feel about stoned driving. If you’re doing something erratic or illegal that warrants being pulled over, then you should be pulled over as you are a danger. But if you drive perfectly safe and no one notices anything that warrants a police visit, what’s the big deal?
The NFL’s changes would include a higher positive marijuana threshold, meaning it takes more weed to qualify as a violation, and lesser penalties even in the instance of cannabis violation. The crux of the NFL’s delay on instituting these changes seems to be an impasse between arbitration and discipline. The Players Union accuses Goodell of wanting to hold all the cards, and the NFL accuses the union of dithering on testing standards to the point that it looks like intentional interference.
Can we just help the NFL out and reschedule cannabis, please? It really would solve so, so many problems.