Thanks to the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement, players will no longer be suspended for positive marijuana tests. However, insiders warn that still doesn’t absolve them from being punished in other ways.
What We Know:
- The number of players who will be tested will be reduced as well, and those who are subjected will now be allowed to have 150 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their system before testing positive. It is a significant increase to the 35 nanograms they previously allowed.
- In general, the new CBA has reimagined the way the NFL handles its discipline policy across the board. Instead of having the commissioner decide, moving forward a “neutral-decision-maker” will make an official ruling on most disciplinary cases, which takes a lot of the power out of the commissioner’s hands but also addresses any concerns of bias.
- If a player does test positive for marijuana while at training camp, the test will be looked at by a medical board who will then decide if treatment is required. The same rules also apply to tests for other recreational drugs, but stiff penalties for performance-enhancing drugs remain in place.
The NFL owes an apology to SEVERAL players who's careers were ended because of marijuana use.
Randy Gregory… https://t.co/qMDYxAiJNV
— reg (@kidnoble) March 15, 2020
- Before the new CBA was reached, if they tested positive once, they were sent to the substance abuse program. The second positive test meant a fine worth two game checks. More positive tests meant bigger fines and eventual suspensions, with a one-year ban from the league if a player tested positive for a sixth time.
- Rosters can be bigger now too, and seven teams will be allowed to make the playoffs from each conference instead of six.
“We pick up a greater share of revenues, make significant gains to minimum salaries and increase our post-career benefits. We understand that not all deals are perfect, and we don’t take the gains we wanted but couldn’t get lightly. We must now unite and move forward as a union.” – JC Tretter, President of the NFLPA
A source recently told Yahoo Sports that there are some in the league who have reservations with this more lax approach to marijuana because of the message it could send to the younger fans. There are also concerns about the potential for the new policy to clash with federal and state laws in areas where marijuana has yet to be legalized.