A top National Football League (NFL) team owner and a star player said this week that they’re expecting changes to the league’s marijuana policy after the MLB announced it is removing cannabis from the banned substances list for baseball players.
Both Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady touched on the possibility of the NFL’s marijuana rules being revisited.
Jones: "We always need to be careful when looking at our behavior," on marijuana and how MLB is dropping it from tested drugs. “I think that you should expect and will expect an adjustment" @1053thefan
— 105.3 The FAN (@1053thefan) December 13, 2019
“I think the world is sensitive to the issue regarding marijuana, and it’s also an issue contemporarily that we are excited about being in-step with the social and legal scene as it goes forward,” Jones said in an on-air interview with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Friday.
“I think you should expect and will expect an adjustment of the contemporary way or the present way that marijuana is being thought about.”
“We not only have the interest of competitiveness in mind when it comes to any type of substance,” he said, “but we have the issue of the law, and we have the issue of the society focus on it. All of that calls and does receive attention when you’re discussing this with players.”
Listen to Jones’s marijuana comments, about 8:45 into the audio below:
Brady made similar points when asked about MLB’s move in an on-air interview with Westwood One Sports on Thursday.
“These are the signs of the times,” he said. “The times are changing and progress is good.”
“I know there’s been talks about that in the NFL as well, and I think the stigma is being removed. And hopefully they’re doing a lot of research into whatever benefits there may come from it,” Brady said.
Negotiations are currently taking place in a collective bargaining agreement between the NFL teams and the players’ association, which is the only time the owners could change their rules on drug testing and punishment.
“I don’t know enough about it, I am sure there are a lot experts out there that could weigh in,” he said.
Listen to Brady’s cannabis comments, around 5:45 into the audio below:
Jones has historically argued against the NFL’s harsh stance on marijuana. As popular opinion has evolved, with 67 percent of Americans now in support of cannabis legalization, there are concerns that punishing players for using the plant may do more harm to the NFL’s public perception than good.
“The issue is, we have such visibility. We ask for it. When people turn away, we say ‘wait a minute, turn back around, look at us.’ We ask for visibility,” Jones said. “When we turn it this way, someone can have a hiccup and someone can have an issue and it becomes highly visible, whereas it might not be in the normal workplace.”
If an NFL player tests positive for marijuana in an annual drug test, it results in various fines, suspension and rehabilitation. A contracted player can be tested with as little as three hours notice. In 2018, the NFL collectively charged its players $4,000,000 in fines related to substance abuse alone.
Players are thought to side-step the process, passing the annual test and smoking cannabis for the rest of the year. “Everyone knows this game is brutal,” former Chargers offensive lineman Kyle Turley told the Los Angeles Times. “Cannabis saved my life, period, and it could help a lot of other players.”
Owners are willing to make the league’s marijuana policy less punitive, sources close to owners told The Washington Post in October, which would limit NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s disciplinary power when it comes to cannabis. The league and union are already studying the use of marijuana for pain management.
“I want us to always be careful as we are looking at our behavior,” Jones continued, “to not make it look like, as NFL players, that you’re inordinately bad actors. And so I want us to always keep that in mind when we’re implementing what our rules are as it pertains to any type of behavior.”
“Certainly, it’s gotta be legal. Behavior can’t be tolerated is not legal,” he said. “But if it’s legal, how we handle that, and how we test that, and what happens when a player doesn’t get to play because he’s been suspended, and the light it casts on everybody, is of interest to me.”
NFL team owners and NFL players’ union are currently in collective bargaining negotiations, a subject on which neither party can comment. In the past, the bargaining agreements have lasted as long as 57 days.
Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.
NFL Says ‘Hype’ Over CBD Isn’t Backed By Science
An expert panel created by the National Football League (NFL) and its players union is downplaying the potential benefits of CBD for players, stating that while the cannabis compound shows promise in the treatment of some forms of pain, the science doesn’t currently live up to the “hype.”
Following a fact-finding forum on alternatives to opioid painkillers, which involved conversations with CBD manufacturers, the Pain Management Committee for the NFL and the NFL Payers Association (NFLPA) noted on Tuesday that there’s strong interest in CBD and medical marijuana more broadly. But the panel didn’t seem convinced that the non-intoxicating ingredient would benefit players.
“CBD is a promising compound, but the level of its use in the United States outpaces the level of research at this point,” the committee wrote in a white paper for players. “Most of the hype about CBD is based upon results from animal studies.”
“Clinical trials in large numbers of people are usually needed before millions of Americans use a medication for serious medical problems,” the group said. “There are two small clinical studies that suggest that CBD may be effective for treating a kind of pain called neuropathic pain that involves a burning feeling usually in a person’s feet.”
The paper also said that because CBD products are largely unregulated, it’s hard to determine whether they are properly labeled, and there’s the potential for such products to contain THC, which could result in a positive drug test for players.
Additionally, “there may be drug-drug interactions caused by CBD or players may opt for CBD as a medical treatment in lieu of treatments with more scientific evidence supporting them,” the NFL and NFLPA committee said in another white paper intended for league medical staff.
The body also raised doubts about clinical studies into Food and Drug Administration-approved medications composed of synthetic cannabinoids that are used in the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain, arguing that those investigations relied on small sample sizes and limited follow-ups that call into question their therapeutic value.
“Of course, cannabis remains a banned substance under the NFL Policy for Substances of Abuse,” the committee concluded. “In addition, the potential problems associated with cannabis, from acute impairment of driving, addiction, and exacerbation of psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, make it a substance to approach with extreme caution.”
A fact-finding forum the panel held on Tuesday wasn’t aimed at amending league policy directly, but rather it was meant to be “an educational and scientific exercise” that “does not impact the jointly administered Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse,” the groups said in a joint statement to NFL.com.
That said, negotiations are ongoing between the league and players union, and there’s pressure on NFL to adopt a more permissive policy when it comes to marijuana, especially as more states opt to legalize it for medical or recreational purposes.
After the MLB announced last year that it is removing cannabis from its list of banned substances for baseball players, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and star quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots both said they were expecting the league to follow suit and change its marijuana policy.
Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.
Sarah Silverman Calls Out Dave Chappelle For Not Sharing His Marijuana
Dave Chappelle is a marijuana bogart, Sarah Silverman revealed at an award ceremony honoring the fellow comedian.
In a clip from the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor gala that was posted on Sunday, Silverman talked about her long friendship with Chappelle and went on to share an anecdote about how he once visited her and smoked an entire joint himself without sharing.
“We were together in Vancouver and he came over to smoke a joint. And that’s exactly what he did,” she said. “He came over and he smoked a joint—the whole thing. Like by himself, while pontificating about everything that’s wrong with the world.”
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the world: a lack of sharing,” she joked. “I think it’s puff, puff, pass—not puff, puff, puff, puff.”
This was at least the second time that Chappelle’s affinity for mind-altering substances came up during the prestigious awards ceremony that was taped in October and is being aired on PBS on Tuesday. Another fellow comedian, Aziz Ansari, came on stage and joked about a psychedelic experience he had with Chappelle the day before he was announced as the prize’s recipient.
In that bit, Ansari said Chappelle asked him if he wanted to take psilocybin mushrooms together. While Ansari initially said he wanted to take it easy and relax, Chappelle persuaded him that eating the psychedelic fungi would be a more memorable experience to mark the occasion.
“I said, ‘Dave you’ve got a point, let’s eat those mushrooms—to Twain,'” Ansari said.
Another person with a drug story about Chappelle is podcaster Joe Rogan, who recently talked about the comedian going to a private screening of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood and eating magic mushrooms that he got from a fan. Rogan didn’t partake, but he said Chappelle gifted him an unlabeled bag of cannabis edibles.
Both psilocybin and marijuana have regularly been featured in Chappelle’s comedy routines. In 1998, for example, he joked about a time he took mushrooms (also from a stranger) and started hallucinating during a haircut.
Beyond comedy, Chappelle has also advocated for marijuana reform on a serious basis. Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, who ran for governor of Maryland in 2018 on a pro-legalization platform, said Chappelle was the person who first put the idea of cannabis reform in his head.
Photo courtesy of YouTube/Kennedy Center.
Dave Chappelle And Aziz Ansari Took Magic Mushrooms To Celebrate Comedy Award
When comedian Dave Chappelle wins a prestigious award, he opts for psychedelics over champagne to celebrate, fellow comedian Aziz Ansari said
In a clip from the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor gala that was posted online this week, Ansari shared an anecdote about the night before it was announced Chappelle was the award’s recipient.
While Ansari wanted to get some rest after the two comedians finished their sets at an Austin, Texas show, Chappelle proposed that they take psilocybin mushrooms instead.
“Dave said, ‘what kind of night are you trying to have tonight, Aziz?'”
“I said, ‘I’m probably going to take it easy, we went hard yesterday and we’ve got shows tomorrow.'”
“He said, ‘well you want to eat these psychedelic mushrooms I got? They’re supposed to be amazing.'”
Unconvinced, Ansari said he might “just take it easy and get some rest for tomorrow,” but his partner wasn’t deterred.
“He said, ‘well, Aziz, no one knows this, but tomorrow they’re going to announce that I am the winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.’
“And he said, ‘what are you going to tell your kids 20 years from now, Aziz? Are you going to tell them, I was there the day Dave Chappelle found out he won the Mark Twain award and we ate mushrooms together and we had the night of our lives? Or are you going to tell them you got some sleep?'”
Ansari, who described the back-and-forth at the award ceremony, which was taped in October, acquiesced: “I said, ‘Dave you’ve got a point, let’s eat those mushrooms—to Twain.'”
It’s unclear if the psilocybin mushrooms the pair shared are the same ones that Chappelle apparently got from a stranger ahead of a private screening of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood—another recent psilocybin anecdote about the comedian that was shared by podcaster Joe Rogan.
While Rogan didn’t partake in the psychedelic fungus, he said Chappelle did gift him a bag of unlabeled marijuana edibles.
Chappelle has joked about his marijuana and magic mushrooms experience in several of his comedy routines—including a 1998 bit where he also talked about taking shrooms he got from a stranger and then hallucinating during a haircut.
But the comedian has also seriously advocated for cannabis policy reform. Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, who ran for governor of Maryland in 2018 on a pro-legalization platform, credited Chappelle for first putting the idea of marijuana reform in his head.
PBS is set to air a special on Chappelle’s Twain prize on Tuesday.