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4th and 20-The Truth About Pot in the NFL

By: Buz Deliere | November 3, 2022

The NFL has always been known for its strict policies regarding drugs and alcohol, but with marijuana becoming more legalized across America it's experiencing a shift in perspective. Football players are now embracing this alternative way of healing while still being able to compete at their highest level.

The NFL does allow cannabis consumption but it is limited to the offseason months.

With the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), players will no longer be tested for THC in the offseason months, April to August.

The NFL has always been harsh on cannabis. One example, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant missed the entire 2016 season due to his use of marijuana and Bryant’s story isn't unique either; many players have suffered suspensions and even life-long banishment following incidents involving weed.

Just like in the past, players will have to pass testing in the offseason for performance enhancing drugs and other recreational drugs.

NFL players who have been detected with traces of marijuana in their systems will no longer be suspended. The league announced new guidelines, which allow players to have up to 150 nanograms of THC in their system.

The 150 nanograms is used as a mesurement to determine when the last time the player was high, under the 150 nanograms suggests the player was high sometime the previous week and not a chronic smoker.

The League now offers intervention programs for those who continually fail or have higher than the 150 nanograms test results. Stage one consists of an evaluation by a professional to see if there may be an addiction issue and how to address it further.

Players then have the opportunity to do the recommended treatment before receiving a fine. If the treatment plan is ignored by the player than it will result in a fine and if they still fail to comply then it will land them a suspension.

With the NFL loosening its grip on cannabis policies is it possible they will make it legal to smoke in the future. The answer is highly unlikely, but with more and more states legalizing and the fan base becoming more supportive of this alternative medication to opioids we may see it adapt some more new changes.


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