The NFL's Less Punitive Approach To Marijuana Has Huge Health Implications

The NFL's Less Punitive Approach To Marijuana Has Huge Health Implications

Players Union in support of amending the substance abuse policy

Azusa League

On Tuesday, leaders of the National Football League Players Association were prepping a proposal that would take a strong look at recreational marijuana use as a way to deal with pain management.

NFLPA executive director, DeMaurice Smith stated that this proposal would amend the NFL’s drug policies to take a “less punitive” approach to dealing with recreational marijuana use by players.

In an article, published by Bleacher Report, they interviewed 16 players who had never failed an NFL drug policy test, but each player except one smoked during the season, occasions vary from smoking pot after games, after a grueling practice, or after sustaining an injury such as a concussion or dealing with soreness and pain from the daily grind of the season.

These same players also said opponents and teammates use the ganja as well to deal with the season, how they are not a victim of the substance abuse program is those players played a calculated game with the NFL. In an attempt to save expenses NFL teams usually drug test all their players during training camp, the collective bargaining agreement states that players not in the substance-abuse program due to a violation are subject to one test for substances of abuse, including marijuana, from April 20 through Aug. 9. So all must a player do is withstand any use of marijuana, take the test and is clear throughout the whole season.

But if you do fall victim of the substance abuse program, you run the risk of getting smoked out of the league. Use of marijuana is currently banned by the NFL and positive or missed tests can result in fines and suspensions for players if repeated.

Standard protocol is it takes four missed or positive tests to trigger a four-game suspension without pay. An initial violation results in referral to the substance abuse program. Upon entering this program you are in a program that means you may get randomly drug tested ten times a month. A second violation is a fine equivalent to two game checks for the player and a third violation is a fine equivalent to four game checks.

A fifth violation results in a 10-game suspension and a sixth violation results in a one-year banishment from the sport, think Josh Gordon.

The NFL has one of the strictest substance abuse policies throughout sports, in order for this proposal to see lift off, it will be presented to the union’s board of player representatives if approved by the select few; the proposal would then go to the league. The NFL would then have to agree to the changes proposed to the drug policy, which is jointly and administered between by the league and players union.

So it will have to be an understanding amongst the players union and the league, the league has shown improvement from its last public stance in 2014 where they said they will follow the science in regards to the use of marijuana.

“I'm not a medical expert. We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that," Goodell said in January 2014. "Our medical experts are not saying that right now."

The science, as it is now, currently supports the use of marijuana to deal with the symptoms of concussions, although more research is needed. There’s a reason why the commissioner is receiving open letters from a Harvard psychiatrist in support of the use. Players are actively against the use of pain pills, they know how harmful it can be to the body. As well as previous players taking their life too early because they were dealing with head trauma.

Look at the statistic of how many players deal with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly referred to as CTE, in a recent study conducted by Boston University, it showcased that out of 94 players 90 of the have been tested positive for CTE.

If the NFL can really make a difference by treating these injuries and preventing retired players from losing their life over the game, they should really sit back and listen to the science and facts, it might be time to try something new other than prescription pills.

If this proposal to modify the policy goes through it will be in large part of the leagues recently formed NFLPA’s pain management committee. This committee studies the use of marijuana by players as a pain management tool and whether that should be permissible under the drug policies.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments