The NFL's relationship with marijuana has always been a bit hypocritical. The league will suspend players for multiple games for smoking a joint, but doesn't blink an eye to players getting daily painkiller treatments in order to stay on the field. But recent news suggests the NFL may be softening on their anti-marijuana stance.
The NFL announced that they're willing to cooperate with the NFL Player's Association on a study examining the possible benefits of marijuana for football players. Earlier this year, the NFLPA announced their study on marijuana as a pain management tool and also indicated their desire to relax the league's rules regarding marijuana. The player's association has not responded yet to the NFL's offer, but league executives are very interested in helping out.
"We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players," said Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.
The NFL has taken some steps in recent years to lessen their marijuana rules. Before 2014, the NFL considered any blood test with more than 15 nanograms (a nanogram is one-billionth of a gram) of THC to be positive and deserving a suspension. That limit was the harshest of all professional sports leagues, and three years ago the NFL increased the limit to 35 nanograms.
But the NFL also claimed to be interested in studying concussions and brain injuries for the past few years, and then last week announced they were dropping out of a major study regarding CTE and football players. So maybe the NFL's good faith is merely a show and as soon as they're pushed to actually change their rules, they'll revert back to their anti-marijuana ways.