Ask a Stoner: Can NFL Players Use Medical Marijuana?

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Dear Stoner: ESPN just did a survey of players that shows they prefer medical marijuana to prescribed medications to deal with pain. So if a player gets legal medical marijuana and then fails an NFL drug test, who wins?
Sports Fan

Dear Fan: Compared with other professional sports entities, the National Football League has a pretty harsh policy. Even the World Anti-Doping Administration has increased its tolerance for cannabis, allowing international athletes competing in events like the Winter and Summer Olympics to have up to 150 nanograms in their system. Now all the pro snowboarders can smoke up until the week of the superpipe event and still be eligible to compete.

According to the NFL Players Association, the NFL is listening to "science and medical experts" regarding the efficacy of medical marijuana in dealing with pain. But marijuana use is still prohibited by the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, and players are subject to a fine or suspension without pay for positive or missed tests.

In other words, the NFL would treat a player smoking medical marijuana to deal with pain from running full-speed into another human being again and again over a three-hour stretch every Sunday much the same as it would treat a player who's lighting up just to get baked. That is, the NFL would freak out.

Dear Stoner: Can NBA players smoke weed?
No Nugs

Dear NN: The NBA, like most American pro-sports leagues, does not allow marijuana use among players — even in states that have legalized possession of small amounts of pot. Players caught smoking herb three times get a five-game suspension. But that's not to say that players aren't getting high. The NBA tests players four times during the season for drugs, but the testing is random, so some players end up getting their fourth drug test early in the season, which basically gives them a hall pass to toke up the rest of the year.

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