NFL players will no longer be suspended for positive cannabis tests under the recently implemented new policy. The number of players who will be tested will also be reduced, and those who are tested will now be allowed to have 150 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their system before testing positive.
New Cannabis Sports Agreement and NFL for THC
Thanks to the new NFL collective agreement, players will no longer be suspended for testing positive for THC during their sports year. However, insiders warn that this still does not exempt them from being punished in other ways. According to Sporting News, the players’ union, the National Football League Players Association, has ratified a new CBA. This would shorten the testing window from four months to just two weeks at the start of the training camp.
A THC limit four times higher than the old one
The number of players who will be tested will also be reduced, and those who are submitted will now be allowed to have 150 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their system before testing positive. This is a significant increase from the 35 nanograms they were previously allowed.
In order to move away from punishment and focus more on healthy solutions, any player who tests positive will have their case reviewed by a board of health professionals. They will then determine if they need treatment. In general, the new CBA has rethought the way the NFL manages its discipline policy at all levels. Instead of letting the Commissioner decide, moving forward with a “neutral decision-maker” will make a formal decision on most disciplinary matters, which not only removes much of the Commissioner’s power but also addresses any biased concerns.
A penalty rather than a suspension
In spite an apparently much nuanced perspective on how players deal with them, the potential disadvantages are underlined as well. Although athletes will no longer be suspended for positive cannabis tests, they will now be fined from half a week’s salary to three weeks’ salary depending on the number of violations they have.
A source recently told Yahoo Sports that some league members have reservations about this more lax approach to cannabis because of the message it could send to younger fans. There are also concerns that the new policy may conflict with federal and state laws in areas where cannabis has not yet been legalized.