Should The NFL Punish Players Less Than They Do Now For Testing Positive For Marijuana?
Last week, the Cleveland Browns selected Johnny Manziel during the 2014 NFL Draft and made most of their fans very, very happy. It’s been a long time since the Browns have had a quarterback on their roster that excites people. So by drafting Manziel, they gave their fan base exactly what they’ve been asking for for years now. But a short time later, those same fans were feeling a whole lot less enthusiastic than they were when Manziel was drafted. Reason being, their number one offensive weapon, wide receiver Josh Gordon, reportedly tested positive for marijuana recently. And because of it, he’s likely going to be suspended for the entire 2014-15 NFL season since it’s the second failed drug test of his career. So even if Manziel comes in right away and plays well, he’s likely going to be hindered by the fact that he doesn’t have a true No. 1 wide receiver.
And that got us to thinking: Is a one-year suspension really necessary for a second failed drug test? We don’t think so. That’s not to say that Gordon shouldn’t be punished or that the league shouldn’t ask him to seek treatment for his drug use. But the guy wasn’t using cocaine or making meth in his kitchen. Instead, he was using reportedly marijuana recreationally, just like many other NFL players have admitted to doing. So why does he have to sit out an entire year for doing it?
That’s a question that the NFL Players’ Association has asked the NFL as well. And according to reports, the NFL didn’t have a great answer. So they’ve reportedly agreed to at least think about loosening their penalties for those players like Gordon who fail a drug test. There’s been no word yet about how loose those penalties could get. But the belief is that players wouldn’t have to deal with season-long suspensions for failing a drug test. According to a league source, who spoke with ESPN, the league’s new drug policy would “significantly increase the threshold for a positive marijuana test and reduce the punishments for violations involving that drug.”
It sounds like a good idea. Even though we don’t necessarily want to see the NFL come right out and allow players to smoke weed, we also hate to see guys lose years off their careers because of a drug that is now legal in some parts of the country. So at the very least, we’re glad that the NFL is considering making changes to their marijuana policy.
Do you feel the same way? Or do you think players who smoke pot should be penalized with long suspensions? Let us know in the comments section below.