An impassioned Jimbo Fisher put the U.S. sanctimonious marijuana laws and our sports world’s outmoded marijuana policies in perfect perspective in front of a roomful of members of the media a few years back.
The coach of Florida State had just announced that one of his top players, cornerback Greg Reid, had been removed from the team following a traffic arrest in which he was found with a small amount of pot in his vehicle. Reid’s dismissal altered his path for his potential NFL career and stemmed from FSU’s three-strikes-and-you’re-out university policy for coming up positive for marijuana testing.

When Fisher was asked about the double standard involving alcohol and marijuana in sports, he observed the dozens of reporters that sat before him and asked the question that impacted the heart of the hypocrisy.
“What if somebody told everybody in this room that you can’t drink another beer or you’re going to get fired?” Within this series, we have come to learn that cannabis is the controlled substance of choice for an expanding number of college and NFL players. In fact, it’s been estimated that 50 to 60 percent of NFL players use cannabis while close to one-third of college athletes state they have used marijuana at least once in a one year period, in reference to the most current NCAA research.

Sports leagues — college and professional — should eliminate their draconian penalties for athletes who use cannabis. It is high time for the NFL and college football to adopt the NBA model, which screen athletes for marijuana, provides them drug-counseling if it’s decided to be necessary yet doesn’t typically suspend them.
NCAA pushes to eliminate marijuana testing, suspensions in favor of treatment
NCAA pushes to rid marijuana testing, suspensions in favor of treatment
Of course, there is much hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing among the mega-conservatives who characterize the proliferation of pot in sports as an “epidemic.” MSNBC did some investigative studies a few years ago and found old quotes from the anti-marijuana media barrage conducted by Anslinger, who stated smoking marijuana made black men “think they’re as good as white men.”

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers,” Anslinger said before the U.S. Senate back then. … Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
Now, nearly a century down the road, there is still underlying political pressure for sports leagues to proceed with this obscene ruse of stringently punishing athletes for using marijuana. The majority of football coaches, if they were honest, would tell you they would like to see the NFL and college football be more like the NBA, which accepts the truth that young athletes are going to use marijuana and there’s nothing you can do to prohibit it.

Obviously, cannabis, like any drug, can lead to more severe consequences if abused, but can anybody really debate that alcohol is a much more destructive substance than marijuana?
“We look at alcohol like it’s not a problem,” Fisher stated. Nothing like getting your fans trashed on $9 brewskis at the game and then putting them in their cars to drive home intoxicated.
Or what about the NFL being financially supported by FanDuel and DraftKings, the two daily fantasy football companies that are, in effect, nothing more than online gambling sites?
How is it that the NFL can profit from two outlets — drinking and gambling — which is the reason for thousands upon thousands of ruined lives and broken families, but then suspends Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon for an entire season because he likes to smoke a little pot?


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