The NFL has written to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) offering to work in conjunction to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players, reports the Washington Post. Does this suggest that the league finally has decided to soften its stance on the use of marijuana?
The NFL had previously been clinging to its stance against marijuana, presumably due to the realities of collective bargaining. The league and the union agreed decades ago that marijuana would be banned for all purposes, and the league seemed to be leaning to change that only if the NFLPA would be making an equal concession.
The NFL currently suspends players who test positive for the drug and modified the threshold for a positive test for marijuana. In 2014 the policy was updated to increase the permitted threshold from 15 nanograms of carboxy THC per milliliter of urine to 35 nanograms.
“We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” said Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.
According to the report, the union is conducting its own study and has not responded to the letter.
“We are actively looking at the issue of pain management of our players. And studying marijuana as a substance under that context is the direction we are focused on,” George Atallah, the NFLPA’s assistant executive director of external affairs, told the Washington Post.
As acceptance of cannabis grows across America, more critics have called on the league to revisit its policy that some see as outdated and also dangerous, that cannabis can lessen dependance on opiate-based painkillers and also possibly help bring down the swelling caused by repeated hits to the head, stated Rolling Stone.
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