A big push has been going on for many months now to get the National Football League (NFL) to update its harmful cannabis policy. Currently the NFL limit for THC in a player’s system is 35 nanograms per milliliter, up from the previous 15 ng/mL limit. To put that into perspective, Olympic athletes are held to a 150 nanograms per milliliter threshold. The NFL’s notoriously low THC limit has resulted in a lot of players being disciplined when they wouldn’t have if they were competing for gold medals rather than Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Former NFL players like Eugene Monroe have led the push for reform in the NFL, which has led to the message of reform resonating with current players. The effort culminated this week when the NFL Player’s Association announced that it would be proposing a ‘less punitive’ NFL cannabis policy. Per The Washington Post:
Leaders of the NFL Players Association are preparing a proposal that would amend the sport’s drug policies to take a “less punitive” approach to dealing with recreational marijuana use by players, according to the union’s executive director, DeMaurice Smith.
The proposal will be presented to union’s board of player representatives, Smith said Tuesday. If it is approved by those players, Smith said, the proposal will be made to the league. The NFL would have to agree to any changes to the drug policy, which is negotiated and jointly administered by the league and players’ union.
Details have not been released regarding what the players are proposing. In a perfect world, cannabis would be removed from the NFL’s banned substance list altogether. That is the policy that has been adopted by the National Hockey League (NHL), and the policy has not led to any issues over there. The NFL should follow suit. However, that may not be a realistic goal to achieve, so a ‘less punitive’ approach may be a better strategy. Regardless of what the proposal ends up looking like, it will no doubt be a better policy than what is currently in place. Stepping up for reform in a professional sports league is not an easy thing to do, and the Uncle Cliffy team commends everyone involved with this proposal!