The controversy was most pronounced in the weeks immediately preceding the biggest sporting event of the season when Chandler Jones apologized for his use of synthetic weed. But all season long - right up until the Super Bowl - the message as clear to the NFL from former players and others - the league's prohibition of marijuana is dangerous to those who play the game and needs to end.
But at least one team, the Colts, doubled down this week on a strong prohibitionist position, and suggested they released linebacker Jonathan Newsome because of a recent marijuana arrest.
The arrest came following multiple trips by the local police in Zionsville, Indiana, to Newsome's apartment for noise complaints.
The now former Colts Linebacker, for his part, was gracious in his departure, tweeting:
I learned alot during my time here in Indianapolis, becoming a better football player and person. I have made mistakes, but ive grown.— Jonathan Newsome (@JNEW_11) February 22, 2016
Somethings happen and I cant question God and his plan. Bottom line you have to stay the course and pray about it but never worry about it.— Jonathan Newsome (@JNEW_11) February 22, 2016
Thanks again to all of Coltsnation for rockin with me! This wont be the last time you see J New....— Jonathan Newsome (@JNEW_11) February 22, 2016
Fan response has mostly been understanding, positive, and frustrated with the state of prohibition both in the league and in the state itself.
@JNEW_11 hate seeing you go Jonathan. You were a great Colt. Best wishes to you brother— John Borzumato (@JBorzumato) February 22, 2016
@ericndirish1981 yea, for weed possession... Give me a break— Dustin Paul (@DPaul212) February 22, 2016
@JNEW_11 lol over simple possession. Lawmakers need to figure this shit out. Good luck— Big Tuna (@ABigTuna) February 22, 2016
We were left wondering what Chicago Bears legend and medical marijuana advocate Jim McMahon would think of this episode, but we'll leave the final word to Twitter user @whodoiowe who responded to Newsome's earlier tweet about God and his plan thusly: