The NFL Players Association is putting together a proposal that would alter the league’s policies on recreational marijuana use by players, according to The Washington Post. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said that the proposal would amend the policies to take a “less punitive” approach.
Marijuana use in all forms is currently banned by the NFL and positive tests can and have resulted in both fines and suspensions for players. In many cases, failing drug tests for marijuana can result in stiffer penalties than many other far more serious things in the NFL. That’s why the NFLPA is hoping to make a change.
The proposal would be pitched to the NFLPA’s board of player representatives and if approved would be put in front of the league for consideration, according to the report. The NFL’s policy on drugs is jointly negotiated by the league and the NFLPA.
Smith talked about depression and its potential link to recreational use, and said that the NFLPA and the NFL need to do a “better job of knowing if our players are suffering from other potentially dangerous psychological issues.” He described the NFL as a business that “sometimes can seriously exacerbate existing physical and mental issues.”
That said, the NFLPA will have to be fairly convincing given the NFL’s stance on the matter in the past. It’s been viewed as an overly punitive punishment for years and it’s possible that the NFLPA will have to offer up some concessions of their own because it’s unlikely the NFL will cave on such a big issue when it comes to things they jointly bargain with.