Plenty of people smoke weed. In fact, people in Colorado are getting used to the idea that it's not even illegal anymore.
But when you're a professional athlete, you're not allowed to do it (unless you play hockey—woot!). At least during the season. Does that stop the biggest stars in the game? Of course not. But just don't be all that surprised when they get "randomly" drug-tested.
The league needs some way to make sure its players are clean, and hey, "random" drug testing does the trick. Teams know who their most frequent offenders are, and they probably have their ways of making sure those offenders get "randomly" tested fairly often.
Clearly, there's plenty of evidence that the threat of drug-testing isn't going to compel many of these guys to stop. But that doesn't mean the Pee Man will ever stop coming to call.
It's a running joke at this point: Another day, another Seahawk fails a drug test. Last year, it was cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman (though Sherman's was overturned on appeal, according to SI). You would think that losing two key members of the secondary to violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy would teach the Seahawks a lesson. But you would be wrong.
This year, it's a new season and the same old story. Browner faced a one-year suspension as a repeat offender. On top of that, corner Walter Thurmond was slapped with a four-game suspension for—you guessed it—violating the NFL's non-PED drug policy.
Apparently, the Seahawks need random drug tests more randomly. Like randomly every day.
When you enjoy using substances that have been deemed illegal by your employer, it's a given that you shouldn't publicly discuss the fact that you use them, right? Especially when your team is in the midst of a playoff run, right?
Wrong. Take it away, Josh Howard.
In 2008, Howard gave Marc Cuban the headache to end all headaches when he talked about his offseason marijuana use on ESPN Radio, just as the Mavericks were about to take on the Hornets in Game 3 of the playoffs, according the ESPN.
Howard did say that he would "probably" not smoke weed in-season even if random drug testing didn't exist, but then he had to go one step further and admit to "smoking weed in the offseason sometimes."
While Howard insisted that his recreational weed-smoking didn't interfere with his ability to play basketball, it's clear that it did interfere with his ability to exercise common sense.
Here, we come to this year's poster boy for substance-related suspensions. I give you Von Miller.
In August, when Miller was handed a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy, it was not his first rodeo: The Broncos linebacker also received a six-game suspension his rookie season after testing positive for—you guessed it—cannabis, according to the Denver Post.
Apparently, not much has changed in three years. Miller has developed into one of the core components of Denver's defense—in 2012, the only season in which he started a full 16 games, he registered 18.5 sacks, a pick and 55 tackles—but the Broncos have had to learn to live without him once again.
At least now that he's out with a torn ACL, he can smoke all the weed he wants.
Back in 2011, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn said that one of his players, Michael Beasley, developed some bad habits after "smoking too much marijuana" as a member of the Miami Heat.
Given that Beasley has returned to Miami this season, let's just hope Kahn was wrong.
Beasley's struggles with substance abuse are no secret. They started back in 2009, when Beasley—coming off his rookie season—posted a picture on Twitter that appeared to show a bag of weed in the background. He went to rehab after that, but the struggles didn't end: In 2011, he was pulled over for speeding, and cops found 16.2 grams of pot in his car.
So, here's the thing: If you're an NFL player, and you're going to smoke pot, it's probably smart to avoid having your green shipped to you at your home address.
In September 2011, California Watch reported that Cincinnati Bengals players Jerome Simpson and Anthony Collins received "a shipment of high-grade marijuana" in a "controlled shipment." State narcotics agents tracked the package from Northern California to the suburban Kentucky house belonging to Simpson. The shipment allegedly contained 2.5 pounds of weed.
No arrests were made, but in a search of Simpson's home, authorities found six additional pounds of weed, as well as empty parcels, scales and packaging material, according to California Watch. Let's put the pieces together: Authorities suspected Simpson was running a distribution network.
The 2012 NFL draft issue of ESPN The Magazine ran a rather explosive expose on the drug culture in Eugune, Ore.—home of the University of Oregon. It opens with a scene featuring a member of the Oregon football team, one week removed from a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, rolling a "hefty joint."
Though the article quotes the player as saying most of his teammates are waiting to reengage in blazing until "after winter workouts," it says in the same paragraph that "about half the team smokes," and "It's a team thing. Like video games."
According to the piece, about 22.6 percent of NCAA athletes enjoy marijuana. This particular NCAA athlete was happy to let an ESPN The Mag writer chill with him as he enjoyed a "sandwich bag brim[ming] with weed." So there's that.
Think, Marshall Henderson. Think about how many SportsCenter Top 10 lists you could make if you never missed another game again.
Last summer, the Ole Miss star's future in college basketball was "legitimately in jeopardy" following a suspension for a violation of team rules. Sources told CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish that the suspension came as a result of repeated failed drug tests and that rehab was a possibility.
Alas, things seem to have mended for Henderson, as he's currently suiting up for the Rebels and has helped them get off to a 9-3 start, mostly by doing stuff like this.
If the Rebels can't afford to lose him…maybe they should start randomly testing other players instead.
Oh, to think of what he could have been if only he had laid off the green.
Sean Williams isn't even a name that is familiar to most, but basketball fans in New England know him well. He could have been the best shot-blocker in the history of college basketball. He could have been a lottery pick. He could have been an NBA legend.
Instead, he got kicked out of Boston College for alleged marijuana use and never had the chance.
Williams was dismissed in early 2007 after being suspended twice before for "violations of team rules," according to ESPN's Andy Katz. We know for sure that one of those suspensions stemmed from marijuana possession. At the time of his dismissal, Williams had blocked a whopping 75 shots in 15 games that season.
If only BC had just decided to "randomly" test anyone but him. Still, he's only 27 and has an affinity for swatting anything that comes close to the rim, so if an NBA team finds itself in a serious, serious bind...
J.R. Smith and weed. The oldest of friends.
It's not a secret that the current Knick and reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year is a big fan of green. When he was suspended for a failed drug test this September, the suspicion was that it was at least his third failed test: He received five games, which is generally what you get on your third strike.
It's very possible that Smith could also be the Nugget in question in a blind item the Denver Post ran last month: It talked about a player who was so high prior to a 2010 playoff game that he had to be pulled aside by a team executive.
So yeah, the Knicks are probably making sure that the Pee Man and Smith are well-acquainted.
When former LSU standout Tyrann Mathieu became available to NFL teams after essentially being forced out of Baton Rouge because of his drug use, very few teams were willing to bite.
The one that did is probably glad it took the risk.
The Honey Badger's drug struggles are well-documented. He was arrested in 2012 for marijuana possession and was kicked off his team, despite the fact that he was the best defensive back in the nation and could have been a Heisman candidate.
Now with the Cardinals, Mathieu insists that he's reformed his ways, but nobody really cares whether he's telling the truth or not because he racked up 64 tackles and two picks in 11 starts before bowing out with a knee injury.
Still, it's safe to assume that Arizona is most likely keeping close tabs on him.
Who would've thought that when Mario Chalmers was just a wee NBA rookie, getting caught with weed at rookie camp, he'd evolve into LeBron James' wingman and a two-time NBA champion?
In 2008, Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were thrown out of the league's rookie transition program, according to ESPN.com, because they were busted in their hotel room with "weed and women," as told by unnamed sources.
Since then, Chalmers has managed to rehab his reputation a bit, thanks in part to the fact that his Miami Heat have made three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, emerging from two of them with rings.
You better not let LeBron catch you, Mario. He already hates you enough.
Randy Moss still managed to have a pretty stellar NFL career, despite his apparent affinity for green.
No, he couldn't really establish a permanent home for himself—he bounced around from Minnesota to Oakland to New England to Tennessee, then back to Minnesota, then San Francisco—mostly due to perceived behavioral problems. Moss had the talent, but not many coaches had the patience to deal with his ego.
Apparently, weed was one of the things that helped Moss deal with the stresses that came with being one of the best wideouts in the NFL. On Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Moss said that he's used marijuana since entering the league and smokes it "every blue moon."
Though Moss has never been suspended for drug use, it's confidential whether he spent time in the league's drug program. That stuff doesn't get made public until you fail three or more tests.
Meanwhile, right now, Moss is unemployed, so he can smoke all the pot his heart desires.