Through the years of the NFL, there has always been a problem with players, owners and the marijuana policy. As Stephen A. Smith puts it, “WEEEDDDDDDD.”
Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones and other owners in the league want to change the way the league punishes players when they violate the league’s substance abuse policy involving marijuana. Players do as well, but completely getting rid of testing is not where everyone’s head is at.
Players and owners need to find a common ground and Jones thinks it a good bargain chip that should be used in the next collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
The owners are coming from a business stand point of course. They don’t want to lose their players for long periods of time due to a violation of league’s policy. They also view marijuana as an issue that players are willing to negotiate, which they want to use as hanging fruit.
The players, on the other hand, do not want to completely get rid of testing because they feel as if it helps the players. They just want to reduce or eliminate the punitive aspect of the test process. The players are mainly focused on counseling, treatment and pain management.
Under the player’s plan, the testing will tell which players need help or which players are using marijuana for recreational use. The test will be able to tell the number of nanogram per milliliter (ng/ml).
The current league’s standing is 35ng/ml. Granted this is higher than the 15 it was three years ago but is lower than Major League Baseball (50), not even a quarter of what the Olympics’ allow (150). Another problem is that people who test positive for marijuana at 35ng/ml will get the same punishment as those who test positive for let’s say 175ng/ml in the NFL. That’s not fair.
The player’s union wants the cases to be handled differently and catered more specify to each case. Not just placing everyone in the same box.
There is still a lot to be done and to be talked about. Marijuana is still not legal in every state and can not be transported across state lines so there is one big problem also, Rodger Goodell has to throw his hat in the ring. The player’s union has made it very clear that they will not trade nonfininacal things for financial things like stadium credits in the next CBA concession.
What we do know is that this conversation will not die down anytime soon.