The NFL’s befuddling Marijuana Policy has gone under the microscope as the 2013 season kicks off, in large part thanks to the ad MPP placed outside of Mile High stadium before tonight’s opening game. The message sent is a simple one: NFL players face stricter penalties (and get tested harder) for weed than HGH and amphetamines.
And marijuana is–by all accounts–not a performing enhancement drug. That said, it’s also not a performing de-hancement “drug.” There’s no better example of weed’s harmlessness than Ricky Williams, who intermittently smoked himself both into the record books and out of the league.
Former teammate Channing Crowder spoke about Williams’ dedication to the flower–and makes a point that it did not impact Ricky’s play at all:
“Remember that Buffalo game, the 200-yard game?” Crowder said. “Smoked the night before. Talk to Ricky. He was doing it, that’s what he did. Ricky has social anxiety and he smoked weed. Ricky’s marijuana didn’t affect the team until he got caught smoking. . . . Him smoking weed, sitting at his house smoking weed, didn’t affect anybody but Ricky. He got high and then he sobered up and then he went to practice the next day.” [Pro Football Talk]
If you can handle weed without it getting in the way of your life and job–like 99% of the people that inhale it–than it seems ludicrous the NFL punishes players who medicate while those who drink remain unscathed. If a player can smoke marijuana without any negative repercussions, why punish them?
There’s a major difference between a Ricky Williams (see: peaceful yogi) and an Aaron Hernandez or a Pacman Jones (see: thugs). The NFL should start seeing and treating its player smoking habits that way.