Cowboys' David Irving: It's 'Bulls--t' NFL Won't Let Players Use Marijuana

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2019

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving (95) celebrates a sack during an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving said the NFL's ban on marijuana is "bulls--t" and accused staff members of smoking weed in an Instagram comment posted Wednesday.

"Well once they do that, give me a call," Irving said in response to a uStadium post on the league's potentially relaxing its marijuana policy. "Cuz it's bulls--t how I have Xanax bars n hydros right next to me to take, given to me by the nfl of course. However, we can't smoke the same weed the staff itself smokes."

Irving, 25, was suspended indefinitely March 1 for repeated violations of the NFL's drug policy. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for testing positive for a substance on the league's substances of abuse list.

The NFL's marijuana policy has drawn numerous critics, as it's the harshest in major American sports—even after a relaxing of the policy in 2014.

Players who test positive once for marijuana are enrolled in a substance abuse program that allows the league to test the player randomly and repeatedly. Subsequent violations include the forfeiture of game checks before suspensions of four and 10 games kick in.

Marijuana is legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia and is only fully illegal in 17 states. The other 33 states allow marijuana either recreationally or at least on a medicinal basis.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not been a proponent of allowing marijuana for players. In 2017, he spoke of the adverse effects of the drug.

"Listen, you're ingesting smoke, so that's not usually a very positive thing that people would say," Goodell said on ESPN's Mike & Mike. "It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term."

Goodell said in January that he and the NFLPA have spoken about the league's marijuana policy but offered no update of substance.

"[Medical advisers] look at this constantly, they look at the data, they look at the science and they make those recommendations to us on that basis," Goodell said. "The union and the NFL work very closely on this. Dee [NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith] and I spoke about this the last two weeks."

Many advocates have argued that marijuana doesn't carry the same addictive properties or long-term side effects as opioids and other painkillers NFL players currently use for pain management.

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