An overwhelming majority of NFL players surveyed by ESPN agree with President Barack Obama that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol.
“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama told the New Yorker’s David Remnick. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” He also said that smoking pot is “not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”
According to ESPN’s NFL Nation survey, “75 percent of the 82 players who answered said they agree with Obama’s statement” while 25% disagreed. They were asked, “Do you agree with President Obama that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.”
As ESPN noted, though, “the NFL’s substance abuse policy calls for players who test positive for marijuana to enter the league’s drug program” while “repeat offenders go to Stage 2 of the program, where another positive test results in a four-game suspension.” On Wednesday, the NFL upheld a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns star wideout Josh Gordon for another failed marijuana test.
Coaches like Seattle’s Pete Carroll have indicated that medicinal marijuana should be considered for treating concussions, and NFL players reportedly want to bargain for less severe marijuana penalties, but “any change would have to be agreed upon by both the NFL Players Association and the league,” as EPSN noted. After Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, there has been more pressure on the NFL to revise its penalties regarding marijuana. When Seattle and Denver met in this year’s Super Bowl, it was dubbed the Marijuana Bowl.