Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Reportedly Wants NFL To Stop Banning Marijuana
As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I by definition cannot agree with anything that the Dallas Cowboys do, unless they choose to send all of their top players to the Eagles. However, at the recent National Football League (NFL) owners-only meeting in Arizona, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may have offered an interesting suggestion: stop banning marijuana use among NFL players. Of course, I wasn’t part of this meeting, since owning an Eagles game ticket stub does not constitute owning the team. Therefore, this information is based on reports from Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk. Before jumping to agree or disagree with Jones’ suggestion, let’s take a look at the situation.
Currently, the NFL’s marijuana policy is the most stringent of all four major sports. John Bresch writing for CBS Sports pointed out that even though the NFL became more lenient on its policies in 2015, upping its threshold for a positive marijuana test to 35 nanograms per milliliter from 15 nanograms per milliliter, this new threshold is still well below major league baseball’s threshold of 50 nanograms per milliliter. In the NFL, positive tests can lead to fines and suspensions. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has pushed for “less punitive” approaches to marijuana use. Any change would be part of the next collective bargaining process, which means that current policies are probably in place until at least 2020. But the players may now have an ally in Jones.
All of this comes in “light of” several recent trends. The first is the increasing push to legalize marijuana. One argument for legalization is the legality of drinking alcohol, which could lead to similar impairment. As of November 9, 2016, eight states had legalized the recreational use of marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Therefore, if the Los Angeles Rams were playing against the New England Patriots, it might be legal for players to use marijuana, but they still could be fined by the NFL. Additional states now allow the medical use of marijuana.
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