Report: NFL CBA Proposal Includes Reduced Penalties for Positive Marijuana Tests

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2020

NFL logo on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

The proposed NFL collective bargaining agreement reportedly features far less stringent policing of marijuana use by players.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the proposed CBA calls for "dramatically reduced penalties, with suspensions happening only in the event of extreme and repeated disregard of the policy or significant violations of applicable law regarding the possession and use of marijuana."

Florio added that the testing window for marijuana would also be reduced to just two weeks. Currently, the window is April 20 through early August.

The current marijuana policy results in a player getting enrolled in a substance abuse program after one positive test, fines after the second and third, a four-game suspension after the fourth and a 10-game suspension after the fifth.

Many current and former players have spoken in support of marijuana usage for pain management as a safer alternative to addictive pain medication.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the NFL Players Association executive committee and player representatives will meet Thursday in Washington, D.C., to discuss and possibly vote on the proposed CBA.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported Feb. 2 that a revised marijuana policy, more benefits for retired players and a 48 percent revenue share were among the features in the CBA proposal from the players' perspective.

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The most significant sticking point is the inclusion of a 17th regular-season game. Mortensen and Schefter noted that the status of the proposed CBA will come down to whether the players, per a source, "accept the one thing they hate, a 17-game season, in exchange for 10 or more things they want."

The current CBA does not expire until the end of the 2020 season, but there is some urgency to ratify it before the new league year begins in March since the 48 percent revenue share would reportedly be enacted in 2020 even though a 17th regular-season game wouldn't be added until 2021.