New NFL CBA Makes Changes to Drug Policy

John Maakaron

The NFLPA narrowly approved the new collective bargaining agreement, meaning there will be no work stoppage in the NFL for the next decade. 

The vote was razor-thin, as the agreement only passed by 60 votes -- 1,019 to 959.

As a result of the approval, the NFL has now secured 10 years of labor peace, the regular season has been expanded to 17 games and the playoff field has been increased from 12 to 14 teams. 

Another change to the CBA involves the NFL's drug policy. 

The new CBA eliminates suspensions for positive marijuana tests. 

The testing period has been limited to the first two weeks of training camp, and the threshold for a positive test has been raised from 35 to 150 nanograms of THC.

And the punishment for DUIs has been increased to a three-game suspension. 

In regards to performance-enhancing drugs:

  • A first failed test for stimulants or diuretics will result in a two-game suspension. 
  • A first failed test for anabolic steroids will result in a six-game suspension.
  • Manipulation and or substitution and use of a prohibited substance will result in an eight-game suspension.
  • A second violation for stimulants or diuretics results in a five-game suspension.
  • A second violation for anabolics will result in a 17-game suspension.

According to NFL insider Dan Graziano of ESPN, "The idea is to focus the drug program on clinical care as opposed to punishment. Basically, if you test positive, your test gets reviewed by a board of jointly appointed medical professionals to determine whether you need any kind of treatment. The NFLPA deal memo also says that violations of law for marijuana possession generally will not result in suspension."


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Comments (5)

Needed to happen - can’t believe 500 didn’t vote at all

No. 1-5

It is a shame that we are now de-stigmatizing drugs and instead of creating good role models the modern day athlete will become someone who is always high, wastes all their money on gold chains, has a 70% chance of going broke after their career, and thinks of themselves as political thought leaders who need to protest during a game. Why can't you just play the game you are paid millions for and not look like an idiot off the field? Our standards have really fallen.

Taryn J. White
Taryn J. White

This is a good decision regarding the NFL's DUI and drug policy. DUI and Marijuana laws need to be updated everywhere, so less people end up having to fightDUIcharges that are unfair due to outdated drug polices.


Its about time the NFL evaluated it's Draconic ideas in regard to the Mary Jane.


Like the idea of making it more around clinical care than punishment