The NFL’s policy on marijuana consumption has been the point of some contention recently. Many former players express their support for using cannabis to treat pain and heal injury, and many of them have entered the industry themselves by opening dispensaries or launching brands.
A historic update to the cannabis policy is now a part of the upcoming negotiations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the league and the NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA).
Under the proposed CBA, players would be suspended for cannabis consumption “only in the event of extreme and repeated disregard of the policy or significant violations of applicable law regarding the possession and use of marijuana,” according to a report from NBC Sports Pro Football Talk.
The new cannabis policy would also reduce the league’s testing window from four months to two weeks. As it stands now, players can be tested from April 20th (yes, 4/20) until the start of the preseason. If changed, the NFL’s cannabis policy would decriminalize it within the NFL, catching it up to other leagues.
Currently, the NFL has some of the harshest drug policies of any major sports league. Active MLB players aren’t tested for cannabis, and the NHL does not penalize their players for testing positive for marijuana use. The NBA will suspend and possibly fine it's players, but they aren’t tested for cannabis in the off-season.
Team owners seem to like the idea. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys – the NFL’s most profitable team – hinted towards the NFL changing its cannabis policies in the upcoming CBA last year.