ESPN is reporting that the National Football League
is reconsidering how it treats
marijuana use among its players.
A source told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the renegotiation of the drug policy, which has been going on since 2011 and includes testing for human growth hormone, also will significantly increase the threshold for a positive marijuana test and reduce the punishments for violations involving that drug.
God knows Von Miller
could benefit from a modernized policy, not to mention players like Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon
, who led the league in receiving yards but will likely face a one-year suspension for violating its substance-abuse policy.
The same ESPN writer who reported the news, Dan Graziano, recently authored
a pretty lucid article on the topic.
Treating marijuana use as a crime is backward thinking in this day and age. It is being legalized, state by state, for medicinal use, as research reveals its value as a pain reliever. Colorado has decriminalized it completely, choosing to treat it as a taxable industry for widespread community benefit. It's not fully legal everywhere, and federal law prohibits carrying it across state lines, but the idea of marijuana as some sort of evil drug that needs to be stamped out is clearly a dying one.
In related news, Commissioner Roger Goodell
made generally supportive
noises about medical marijuana in January.
"I'm not a medical expert. We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that," USA Today
quoted Goodell as saying. "Our medical experts are not saying that right now."
Of course, these are probably the same medical experts who perpetuated the myth that football has nothing to do with brain damage, something FRONTLINE handily debunked in its 2013 Peabody Award-winning series League of Denial
. But, still ...