Last night I participated in an event that is very common this time of year – a fantasy football league draft. Most of my friends are NFL fans, as am I, and we have a very fun league put together. Something that is present at every NFL related activity I have ever been to is alcohol. To many people I know, football just wouldn’t be football without alcohol. I’m happy to say that I passed on the booze in favor of some Indiana Bubblegum in joint form (although I don’t care if people drank alcohol). As is often the case, some people drank too much, acted the fool, and I’m sure feel very hungover today. I felt fine and went to work with no problems.
The NFL does not allow marijuana use by it’s players, but does allow alcohol use. Many NFL players drink a lot, which is probably why there are so many NFL players involved in DUI’s. It’s too bad too, because a lot of the aches and pains that NFL players experience could be alleviated by marijuana, and with no negative side effects. Why would the NFL forbid marijuana use which is safe, yet allow alcohol use which is harmful, and has been resulting in a lot of headaches for the league?
The Marijuana Policy Project recently wondered this same question, and decided to put it in billboard form. From USA Today:
“The Marijuana Policy Project announced Wednesday that it has posted a giant billboard advertisement — within eye-shot of Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium — that warns the National Football League: ‘Stop Driving Players to Drink.'”
“NFL players are being told that they can go out and get completely drunk, but face no punishment from the league,” says Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy project. “But if a player gets caught using marijuana, they could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars, forced to sit out games and deemed a troublemaker.”
Below is an image of the billboard:
There is also a Marijuana Policy Project created petition calling for the NFL to let players make the choice to use marijuana if they choose to, which can be found here. Below is the language of the petition:
For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league. Now that the U.S. Justice Department has announced that states are allowed to legalize marijuana for adults or for medical use, the NFL should also recognize and respect those laws.
The league would never punish a player simply for having a beer or cocktail, so why does it levy severe penalties against them for using a substance that is less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violence? The NFL’s harsh marijuana penalties do nothing to promote the health and safety of the players. If anything, they put them in danger by steering them toward using alcohol and away from making the safer choice to use marijuana instead.
Sign our petition today calling on the NFL to stop driving players to drink with severe penalties for using marijuana, especially in states where marijuana has been made legal for adult or medical use.