The National Football League doesn’t have a cannabis use problem. The NFL has a cannabis prohibition problem. NFL league officials have yet to offer up a valid justification for the continued prohibition of cannabis use among players. Reasons cited in support of cannabis prohibition in the league include player safety, that cannabis has no medical value, that there needs to be more studies on cannabis, and that cannabis can be a gateway drug that may lead players to try more harmful substances, among other invalid reasons.
Meanwhile the NFL continues to embrace substances that are far more harmful than cannabis, such as alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs. It is hypocrisy on display, plain and simple. The NFL currently prohibits all use of cannabis by players, even when the use is medical in nature, and even when the player’s consumption is in a state where consumption is legal. To date eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for adult use, and all but four states have passed medical cannabis legislation in at least CBD-specific form. The only states left in America that enforce full cannabis prohibition are Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
The National Hockey League (NHL) does not include cannabis on its list of banned substances, and last time the Uncle Cliffy team checked that league was doing perfectly fine. The sky is still intact over NHL facilities. If the NHL can do it without issues, so too can the NFL. The NFL’s cannabis testing threshold is 35 ng/mL of THC metabolites in a player’s urine. If a player tests at that level or higher, they are punished. To put in perspective how low that threshold is, the Olympics uses a threshold of 150 ng/mL for the testing of its athletes.
If Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had his way, the NFL would quit testing for cannabis altogether. Coach Arians recently expressed that belief on a CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network show hosted by Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, as captured in the tweet below:
.@BruceArians on Marijuana in NFL “I would like it to be like the other leagues and not test. It’s not a performance enhancing drug”
— TikiAndTierney (@TikiAndTierney) July 12, 2017
Coach Arians joins a growing number of NFL voices that want to see cannabis prohibition ended in the league. One of the most high profile endorsements of the idea is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones. The Uncle Cliffy team previously covered news that Jerry Jones was pushing for league cannabis policy reform in a meeting of fellow team owners. Jerry’s stance was later echoed by Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones. A growing list of poll results shows that fans, members of the sports media, and NFL players themselves want to see the NFL stop testing players for cannabis. It is time that league officials stepped up, had some compassion for its players, and got on the right side of history. Kudos to Coach Arians for speaking out in the name of compassion and logical reasoning!
image via Reddit