The National Football League is about to make a dramatic change to its drug testing policy thanks to a new collective bargaining agreement that was brokered between players and owners over the weekend.
Under the new CBA, players will no longer face suspensions for positive marijuana tests, and the drug testing period will be restricted to the first two weeks of training camp. The threshold for a positive marijuana test will now rise from from 35 to 150 nanograms of THC, according to ESPN.
“The idea is to focus the drug program on clinical care as opposed to punishment. Basically, if you test positive, your test gets reviewed by a board of jointly appointed medical professionals to determine whether you need any kind of treatment. The NFLPA deal memo also says that ‘violations of law for marijuana possession generally will not result in suspension.’”
The policy change is an enormous milestone for a league that has long taken a stringent position against marijuana use. Players have historically faced significant penalties, in the form of fines and suspensions, for testing positive for pot. Josh Gordon, a former all-pro wide receiver, has seen his career derailed due to repeatedly testing positive for marijuana.