In a surprise announcement from the National Football League, players in the NFL won’t have to worry about suspensions if they test positive for marijuana. Touchdown! This is a huge move for sports! Under a new unified bargaining agreement that is fully supported by team owners on Thursday; the news of the agreement is travelling quickly within the players of the league, who are anticipating a new set of terms to contemplate with their representatives during a conference call this Friday.
If the agreement is fully endorsed and approved, the NFL would enforce a definite amount of changes to its current drug policy in reference to the use of cannabis by players. The new cannabis consumption policy would decrease the penalties for players who test positive for THC, which includes the removal of game suspensions exclusively for a positive test result, according to a fact sheet released by the NFL Players Association that covers the agreement’s key terms.
The redesigned policy would also reduce the number of players subject to testing for THC and would shorten the window during which they may be tested from four months to only two weeks at the beginning of training camp each season. The limit for THC metabolites detected in a drug test would also be increased from 35 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL.
On Saturday, Mike Florio of NBC Sports reported that the new collective bargaining agreement would “include dramatically reduced penalties, with suspensions happening only in the event of extreme and repeated disregard of the policy or significant violations of applicable law regarding the possession and use of marijuana.”
The collective bargaining agreement approved by the NFL owners on Thursday also includes provisions that raise the minimum salaries and broadens benefits for active and retired players.
“Following more than ten months of intensive and thorough negotiations, the NFL Players and clubs have jointly developed a comprehensive set of new and revised terms that will transform the future of the game, provide for players — past, present, and future — both on and off the field, and ensure that the NFL’s second century is even better and more exciting for the fans,” the statement reads.