The NFL is seemingly recognizing the benefits of their banged-up athletes using marijuana and are looking into throwing them a bone. Or baggie.
A new policy that could be implemented next season would not only raise the threshold for testing positive for pot but make the punishment less harsh as well.
A source told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the renegotiation of the drug policy, which has been going on since 2011 and includes testing for human growth hormone, also will significantly increase the threshold for a positive marijuana test and reduce the punishments for violations involving that drug.
Instead of punishing players for marijuana use, the NFL might be better off figuring out how pot’s medicinal benefits can help players deal with pain, writes Dan Graziano. Story
The source said the NFL’s policy on marijuana is outdated, pointing out that the World Anti-Doping Agency has a higher threshold for a positive test than the NFL currently does.
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.
The NFL has continued to insist that the commissioner have final say over discipline matters.
It’s the same hang-up that was addressed last week by union president Eric Winston, who said of commissioner Roger Goodell on the issue of HGH testing, “He wants to hold all the cards and he wants to be the judge, jury and executioner, and we’re not going to go for an un-American system like that.”
Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon is currently on the chopping block for an one-year suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. While the new policy won’t be able to grant him mercy, it will benefit those future offenders of the sticky-icky.
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