By Barry Bard
ESPN reports that the NFL will re-examine and likely alter its out-dated marijuana policy after a rash of off-season incidents, suspensions, and increasing pressure to make a much needed change. The announcement comes just days after Josh Gordon's alleged season-long suspension for testing positive for weed.
According to ESPN's source, the league will finally admit its antiquated policy needs to evolve with the times, as even the "WADA (Wold Anti-Doping Agency) has a higher threshold for a positive test than the NFL currently does."
So the NFL will increase the threshold for a positive cannabis test (no exact number just yet)-meaning if you smoked weed a month ago, you're unlikely to have enough THC in your system to fail a test.
The other major change means that in the future, should a player test positive, he won't face a season-long ban for weed. The report does not state what the reduced bans (if any) and scales of punishment would be.
Unfortunately, the policy won't be a retroactive one, meaning Gordon still likely faces an (absurd) 8-16 game ban, as does Will Hill of the New York Giants. And it won't reimburse players like Von Miller, Brandon Browner, and countless others who've lost paychecks for smoking pot over the years.
While a modest compromise-and one that won't offer any solace to Browns fans-it's a significant step for both the NFL and professional sports. The media whirlwind and pressure from activists around the country are forcing the NFL to look in a mirror and utilize some form of common sense.
Hopefully-and certainly one day-that common sense will lead the NFL to allowing medical marijuana, and completely stop testing for weed.
If a player wants to medicate his aches and pains with a high CBD strain (like Harlequin) opposed to Oxycontin, that should be his choice-not the NFL's. And the Kush choice just also happens to be the far safer, healthier, and logical choice.