One day the National Football League may actually stop punishing players for sparking up. Given that a majority of NFL ballers believe marijuana is not as dangerous of alcohol, per an ESPN players poll, it’s time for the league to accelerate that change.
Following the unfair treatment of Cleveland Browns wide reciever Josh Gordon, who is facing a season-long ban for a second positive test for marijuana use, the NFL is under pressure to change its drug policy. It is currently considering to significantly increase the threshold for a positive marijuana test and reduce the severity of punishes for those positive tests.
The ESPN.com NFL Nation poll asked players if they agreed or disagreed with President Barack Obama’s comments earlier this year that marijuana is not as dangerous as alcohol. Well, 75 percent of the 82 players who answered sided with the commander-in-chief. That’s a strong sign NFL players believe marijuana use should be tolerated by the league, especially since the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, the two teams that played in the last Super Bowl, are located in states where recreational marijuana is legal in certain amounts.
The NFL’s substance abuse policy calls for players who test positive for marijuana to enter the league’s drug program. Repeat offenders go to Stage 2 of the program, where another positive test results in a four-game suspension. Punishments for repeated offenses after that become more severe, according to the NFL’s long and complex policy, which is 32 pages.