Jerry Jones, the influential and controversial owner of the Dallas Cowboys, wants the NFL to “drop its prohibition on marijuana use,” according to reports over the weekend.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio:
Jones, per a source who heard the comments, wants the league to drop its prohibition on marijuana use. Jones was reminded that the issue falls under the umbrella of collective bargaining, which would require the players to make one or more concessions in exchange for significant changes to the marijuana prohibition.
As the report makes clear, the owners are not able to unilaterally change the NFL’s marijuana policy — the league must negotiate with the players’ union. But the NFL Players Association appears to agree with Jones.
In January, DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director was clear in what the players want:
“I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate. I think it’s important to look at whether there are addiction issues. And I think it’s important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it’s being used.”
Marijuana is currently banned by the NFL and a player testing positive can be fined or suspended from the league.
Last season, the NFL fined 20 players a total of more than $10 million for violating its substance-abuse policy — most of those of those violations were marijuana related.
According to an ESPN survey earlier this season, more than 60 percent of players believe the use of pharmaceutical opioids would be reduced if the NFL OK’d marijuana for pain.
Related Story: NFL’s Marijuana Policy May Change Sooner Rather Than Later
In February, the NFLPA said it planned to propose a “less punitive” approach to the marijuana use.
The announcement came just months after the organization revealed it wanted to actively research the cannabis plant to determine its efficacy as an alternative to opioids.