NFL to relax cannabis rules in the next collective bargaining proposal

Published Feb 29, 2020 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / smileitsmccheeze

When it comes to a world-famous competition, everybody involves wants to be at their very best to perform, and though you’ve probably seen headlines that suggest the NFL may have an interest in the medicinal properties of cannabis, players are not at all welcome to partake. If they do decide to delve into the enticing newly legal substance, they can be punished for it with a ban for the season, but that rule looks like it might be changing soon.

No toking before the NFL playoffs

Right now, competitors who injure themselves or were prescribed medical cannabis as a treatment, have no choice but to turn to pharmaceutical options for months in advance of the NFL playoffs. All players are tested sporadically for suspected and banned substances, and due to the sensitivity of the testing, the majority of players must obtain for half of the year in order to keep on competing.

The tests that are used look for metabolites and other traces left behind by the use of any kind of cannabinoids, but with all of the latest research available on the medicinal benefits of CBD, many are speaking up against the ban with cold hard facts, evidence, and opinions that look to be changing minds at the National Football League.

NFL collective bargaining runs out

Players and owners will soon need to come to the table to discuss a brand-new agreement, and this is where this epic change is expected to occur. The current collective bargaining agreement will be running out soon as it expires at the end of next season, and this document is the only thing that stands between NFL players and the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids.

As of now, there is nothing set in stone yet, but the teams and owners have tabled some pretty amazing proposals that show hopeful views that are almost certain to catch on. The most recent proposal that was given to players indicated a huge shift in perception, as it says that the penalties for cannabis use are to be reduced and that complete bans will no longer be inflicted on players who do test positive for the drug.

Last but not least, they are also recommending a much shorter period of time when it comes to drug testing, as current methods can go back up to four months into the history of a player. That means that they must refrain from consuming cannabis in any way for four months before they even start training or playing, and if this rule is lifted, it is expected to be replaced with a less sensitive test that only goes back a total of one month.

Are these just NFL rumors?

As we’ve said before, absolutely nothing from what is provided at these meetings has been agreed on yet, so there is no way to know for certain how many of these suggestions will stand, or how many alternative options might be tabled. There could be some hidden secrets that have yet to be revealed, so we will just have to sit back and see what they decide, but no matter what happens, it looks like the NFL players will finally have the option to choose cannabis without punishment.

Other major leagues like the UFC have taken the lead in this department, by funding imperative research into the potential benefits of CBD as an aid for competitors in the healing process. Though this is surely a much-needed change, they are one of the last agencies to get on board with cannabis, showing that an end of mass prohibition is near.

How the NFL feels about weed

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