The NFL decided to open their marijuana testing window on Thursday, April 20th. In other words, the NFL decided to begin testing their athletes on 4/20.
The move represents either a complete lack of awareness on the part of the NFL (a definite possibility given their track record) or a really good attempt at humor.
According to Pro Football Talk:
For players not already in the drug-testing program, it means that the once-per-year substance-abuse test can happen at any point between now and early August. Which means that, if/when a player not in the drug-testing program passes the annual substance-abuse test, he can use recreational drugs like marijuana without consequence until next year. As long as, of course, he isn’t arrested for marijuana possession in a state where it’s illegal or a bag of weed doesn’t fall out of his coat pocket while visiting the league office.
Given the amount of time necessary for marijuana metabolites to exit the system (it can take as long as 30 days) it may be too late to stop smoking yesterday. For those who stopped in time to produce a clean sample, they’ll be hoping to get their number pulled sooner than later, so that they can resume doing what is now legal in nine states for recreational purposes and 29 states for medicinal purposes.
One wonders how long weed will continue to be outlawed by the NFL. Marijuana is currently legal for recreational use in nine states, plus the District of Columbia. The drug is legal in 29 other states for medicinal purposes. Leaving only 12 states where marijuana is illegal for medicinal or recreational use.
With so much of the country open to some form of marijuana use, the NFL recently announced they would reexamine their policy. But, as for now, any player wishing to celebrate 4/20 is still subject to league discipline.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn