NFL Shouldn't Punish Pot Use, Safer Than Alcohol, Marijuana Policy Project Petition Declares

Players on the Broncos and the Seahawks still prohibited from using marijuana by NFL policy


mile high

The latest campaign from the Marijuana Policy Project, a group that promotes marijuana policy reform and legalization, focuses on the National Football League and its policy of fining and suspending players who test positive for marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project argues pot use is safer than alcohol use, which the league doesn't punish, and that last week's announcement by the Justice Department not challenging state laws legalizing marijuana should serve as an impetus for the NFL to also "respect those laws." Two NFL franchises are based in states that have legalized marijuana, the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, but last November the NFL stressed changes in those state laws would not affect NFL policy.

In a petition the Marijuana Policy Project is directing to the NFL and asking people to sign on to, it writes:

Please change the NFL's marijuana policy so that players are no longer punished for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol if that is what they prefer. Now that the U.S. Justice Department has announced that states are allowed to legalize marijuana for adults or for medical use, the NFL should also recognize and respect those laws. 

The league would never punish a player simply for having a beer or cocktail, so why does it levy severe penalties against them for using a product that is less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violence? The NFL's harsh marijuana penalties do nothing to promote the health and safety of the players. If anything, they put them in danger by steering them toward using alcohol and away from making the safer choice to use marijuana instead. 

More than 60 players have been suspended for violating the NFL's "substance policy" since Roger Goodell became the NFL commissioner and the league began to crackdown on substance use. The Marijuana Policy Project's campaign also includes a billboard outside the Broncos' stadium in Denver that declares "a safer choice is now legal (here)" and calling on the NFL to "stop driving players to drink."

Perhaps one of the most prominent targets of the NFL's anti-marijuana policy was Ricky Williams, who was suspended multiple times in his career for pot use, even choosing to leave the league instead of facing a third suspension.  In the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on his life,  Williams says he believed his decision to leave football (though he ultimately returned) saved his life, and that he used marijuana as a form of "psychotherapy" ten times more effective than the Paxil he was prescribed.

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  1. I really can’t stand the “its not as bad as alcohol” argument because it inevitably brings out many people who extoll the vices of the demon fire water. Ultimately, it just seems like so many people think their bag should be not just legal and tolerated but fully embraced while they look at asconce at everyone else’s particular predilictions that they share not.

    1. I agree. Focusing on “it’s less harmful” just plays right into the hands of prohibitionists, the medical nannies, and regulators. it’s a stupid, failing tactic and those who embrace it aren’t going to like the results.

      It should be legal because you should be able to put what you want in your body. Full stop.

      Also, I would like to see some Seahawks toking up at CenturyLink after a game. I’m sure the fans do.

      1. Thats the thing that irks me about the left generally. There are a few consistent thinkers among them, but often times the freedoms they support they do so because they simply embrace a particular taboo. Its why when you talk to someone on the left who is gung ho about gay marriage and then say, “yeah, and polygamy should totally be ok too, I’d never do it (one woman bitching at me was too many), but hey if that’s your thing go for it” and they go into foaming at the mouth “but that’s patriarchy and teh evul!1!!!!” mode.

        1. They’re not rational; why would you expect a rational response? Remember, half their positions are taken solely because they are the opposite of TEAM RED. And also, most of them don’t even really know or think about why they take a particular position; they just know what the TEAM BLUE marching orders are and that’s that.

          I know it’s extremely frustrating, but you cannot expect rationality out of incredibly irrational, emotional partisans.

      2. Exactly. It’s a pointless comparison, and as tone deaf as the transparent “medical marijuana” movement. Yes, there are people who benefit greatly from marijuana use, medically, but the majority of medical users do not need it any more than most men need Viagra to get their dicks up.

      3. But it destroys families.
        Why do you hate families?

      4. Why should somebody like Johnny Jolly be sentenced to 6 years for wanting to alter his brain chemistry in a way the State doesn’t approve of?

  2. Hmm. The NFL vs the NFLPA. Can they both lose?

  3. GO BRONCOS!!!!!


    Suck it you other lowly city bitches.

    1. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston will smoke Manning.

      Considering Houston fell in the draft due to a positive weed test and Hali served a one game weed suspension, I have officially dubbed them the: “Puff Puff Pass Rush”

      1. “Puff Puff Pass Rush”


        Also, The Broncos O-Line is the best I have seen it since Elways’ last superbowl so good luck with that.

        1. BS, Manning just has a quick delivery. He got smacked around in the first quarter last night and Baltimore has a mediocre pass rush this season and a weak ass secondary.

          Sure, Denver will win the division. I’m holding out hope that Andy Reid fenagles a wild card birth.

          And as history is wont to do what with repeating itself and all: one and done playoffs for Manning again.

  4. Marijuana is safer than alcohol, and this is a justification for what, exactly? If I want to eat strychnine and dance naked with hungry polar bears, it’s none of your business. FYTW.

    1. Why do you want to poison the polar bears, db?

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