NFL Is Rethinking Its Drug Policy, Reducing Marijuana Punishments
By Brandon Isaak
An inside source told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the NFL is in the process of renegotiating its drug policy and may institute changes specific to how athletes who use marijuana are handled.
Since 2011, the NFL has been internally debating its drug policy, which includes testing for human growth hormones. If the current revisions to the drug policy are approved, the threshold for a positive marijuana test will be significantly increased, and punishments for violating the policy will be reduced.
The delay in these changes to the NFL policy stems from a “continued standoff over arbitration of discipline,” according to ESPN. “In cases of non-analytical positives (i.e., an Alex Rodriguez-type case in which a player is found to be in violation of the drug policy by some method other than a failed test) or in cases of violations of law (i.e., a player getting caught trying to smuggle prescription drugs across the Canadian border), the NFLPA has asked that discipline appeals be heard by an independent arbitrator.”
However, the NFL insists that the commissioner (Roger Goodell) has final say over disciplinary matters. Once this power struggle over the administration of discipline is resolved, the changes to the NFL’s drug policy should go into effect.