NFL won't change drug policy despite more states legalizing marijuana

Thursday November 10th, 2016

The National Football League and the NFL Players Association say there isn't going to be an immediate change to the drug policy, despite the growing number of states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. 

Seven states allow recreational use of marijuana, and 28 states and Washington, D.C. allow it for medicinal purposes.

NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah says the union will continue to form a pain management committee to "look at all ailments facing our members with marijuana only one substance of a much bigger issue."

Marijuana use is banned by the NFL, and violators could be fined or suspended for missed or positive drug tests. Marijuana is one of eight drugs banned under the league's substance abuse policy.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that if advisers to the league determine a change would be in the best interest of the players in terms of the drug policy, they would discuss it with the NFLPA

"We continue to follow the advice of leading experts on treatment, pain management and other symptoms associated with concussions and other injuries," McCarthy said. "However, medical experts have not recommended making a change or revisiting our collectively-bargained policy and approach related to marijuana, and our position on its use remains consistent with federal law and workplace policies across the country."

Marijuana continues to remain on the United States Drug Enforcement Agency's list as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs have high potential for abuse and have no medicinal treatment use. Other drugs on the Schedule I list include heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

– Scooby Axson

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