By Emily Ledger
The USA’s National Football League recently released its Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which highlighted a number of key points in relation to the league. Among these key points was the decision to end suspensions for NFL players who test positive for marijuana.
The NFL’s Current Cannabis Rules
Until now, an initial positive drug test for THC could see players required to enroll in a substance abuse program. However, a second positive result would likely result in a two-game ban. Subsequent positive results result in bans of increasing length, with some running to 10 games.
Continued failed THC drug tests could even lead to expulsion from the league. But, under the new rules, players will not face suspension or expulsion for positive results. The NFL’s new THC limit will increase to match that of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The NFL’s New Cannabis Rules
The new, more relaxed rules regarding cannabis don’t end there. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the THC limit for positive drug test results will also see an increase. Currently, the limit is 35 nonograms of Carboxy THC per 1 ml of urine. However, under the new rules, this would be upped to 150 nonograms per ml.
This THC limit will make the NFL one of the more lenient of the sporting bodies. Until now, the league has been among the most strict in regards to marijuana use.
Furthermore, the window for drug testing will also be reduced from four months to just two weeks of training camp at the beginning of the season. In theory, this will decrease the number of players subjected to drug testing.
The new guidelines have been welcomed by many current and former players. Many NFL players are thought to use marijuana medicinally in order to cope with pain – often from injuries sustained while playing.
A significant number of retired players have spoken out about their cannabis use. Many have even gone on to become involved in legal cannabis companies.