The states of Colorado and Washington have voted to make recreational marijuana legal to 21-year-old residents as long as they only possess one ounce at a time. However, the NFL has told its players that live in these states they are not allowed to use marijuana despite the new laws. Is it right or wrong for the NFL to still make it a banned substance when it is legal in some players’ home states?
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear that these states legalizing marijuana will not change anything with the way the league handles drug testing and suspensions. Marijuana has always been on the NFL’s substance abuse list and if tested positive for marijuana, a player faces up to a four-game suspension. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says that’s not about the change.
“The NFL’s policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades. Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program.”
Can the NFL tell its players that they cannot do something that is legal? They sure can. It’s like any other job—if you’re a school teacher and you place photos of yourself drinking with some students out partying, you’re going to get fired even if those students were not drinking and were old enough to be at the club.
It could even be as simple as not following the dress code. At any job, if you are not wearing the style of clothes that the employer has asked you to wear then you could be fired or reprimanded.
It’s simple: If an employer has rules to follow to work for them, then their employees have to follow those rules or face consequences.
The NFL isn’t any different. These players work for the NFL. If anything, the NFL should be more strict on their employees because their employees are role models to children and adults alike all over the world. The NFL has enough issues with players off the field and doesn’t need to make it worse by allowing recreational use of drugs like marijuana.
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