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Why Does The NFL Hate Marijuana?

josh gordon marijuana nfl

(via wikipedia)

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon tested positive for marijuana, which violated the NFL’s drug policy. The positive test resulted in an overly-harsh one year suspension. Josh Gordon wasn’t caught harming someone in conjunction with consuming marijuana, nor was he even caught consuming or possessing marijuana. He had marijuana in his system, which means that within the 30 days leading up to the test, Josh Gordon had consumed marijuana. It wasn’t even during the season; it was during the off season.

Compare that to the suspension handed down to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Ray Rice beat up his fiancee in a casino elevator to the point that she was knocked out. Ray Rice is going to be suspended two games. If you have any marijuana in your system at all, and have harmed no one, you get suspended for an entire NFL season. But if you beat up a woman to the point she is unconscious you get suspended two games. How is that fair? Why does the NFL hate marijuana so much?

There are two NFL teams that are from states where marijuana is completely legal – the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. There are many more teams that are from states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes. Yet, despite some form of marijuana being legal in those states, the NFL will still suspend players if legal marijuana is found in those player’s systems. These players can drink as much as they want, and take as many prescription drugs as they want, and that’s fine. But the second it’s determined that they have taken even one hit of marijuana or taken one bite of a marijuana edible, the hammer is dropped.

What is the goal of the NFL’s policies? Is it to keep it’s players from harming themselves? Because if so, it’s worth pointing out that pharmaceuticals damage your organs, while marijuana does not. Is it to keep players from harming others? Because if so, it’s worth pointing out that Josh Gordon didn’t harm anyone by testing positive for marijuana, yet Ray Rice knocked out a defenseless woman. Ray Rice would have to knock out seven more women to get a comparable suspension to Josh Gordon’s suspension. To say that NFL’s policies are inconsistent is an understatement.

Josh Gordon is going to appeal his suspension August 1st. How the NFL will react to the appeal is tough to say. Considering Josh Gordon is the only NFL player ever to achieve 200 yards receiving in back to back games, the NFL may lower his suspension to get him back on the field to help sell tickets and NFL merchandise. But if so, the NFL’s motive will be to make money, not to do what’s right. If the NFL truly wanted to do what’s right, Josh Gordon wouldn’t be suspended at all for marijuana.


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Johnny Green


  1. Captain Obvious on

    Genetics are part of the DSM qualifications to get those meds. Assuming your family has been diagnosed correctly back in 1950. Lots of folks are terrified of the system with history like lobotomy/ECT/all the pulled meds by the fda that gave them chemical lobotomies.

    “These drugs impair the brain specifically by blocking the transmission to the frontal lobes of the brain…..When you give one of these drugs (Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa etc.) you reduce the personhood with these drugs, even more profoundly than with the stimulant drugs (Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine etc.)”.

    “You disable their brains. It’s a chemical lobotomy and that’s NOT a metaphor – that’s a fact”.

    Dr. Peter Breggin MD Researcher

    “Doctors pour drugs of which they know little for diseases of which they know less into patients about whom they know nothing.” (Voltaire, 1694-1778 AD)

  2. I appreciate all the information, but I was specifically asking about drugs that cause brain damage within the first few weeks of use, since I had never heard of that before.

    Anti-depressants have been used to treat pain for a very long time — it was the only thing offered in the 1980s before Intractable Pain Acts began to be passed. And I’ve tried almost all of them, but not Cymbalta.

    Funny, I just read a recent post on a pain patient’s website about Cymbalta — doctors are still pushing it, even with all of the bad side effects that come with anti-depressants. And besides the fact that these drugs help very few pain patients. Anything but opioids, as far as most doctors are concerned.

  3. From Wikipedia: “Pooled data suggests the incidence of NMS is between 0.2%–3.23%.” And there appears to be a genetic link, so I don’t know if I would call it intentional. But thanks for the search phrase.

  4. Unfortunately I feel like some people took my saying if they were paying me millions of dollars I would make sure I could pass to keep making my money, that I think its alright to force drug testing or that I am against marijuana. Just to let you know I have been a marijuana advocate for many years.
    I also suffer from Spinal stenosis and have had 1 major surgery on my spine already and it looks like they will be going back in again. I live with chronic pain and living on pain meds is not something I wish on anyone. My first surgery was back in 2006 and until my recent problems I was able to keep the pain med doses at a fairly low level. I truly believe that it was because of smoking marijuana. So I understand where everyone is coming from. I yhink marijuana should sold just like alcohol and tobacco. I also believe I should have the right to grow my own if I chose to.
    When I said what I did about Josh Gordon is living within the current rules. When you talk about a person putting his pot use in front of football there was Rickie Williams who walked away from a major deal with Miami because smoking pot was part of his religious beliefs. The NFL was not listening to that. They told you have to choose one or the other. He chose pot at least for a few years and than he decided that the money was important to and he could do both. With a little discipline and maybe some Gold Seal or whatever you might use if they were to ask you to puss in a cup to keep your job. But they told you the test would be in 2 weeks.

  5. The obvious would be an overdose that could cause brain damage and even death. With a management that values booz and other prescription opiates to be added can multiply risk greatly.


    Antidepressants can suffer from overdoses referred to as serotonin toxicity, but the companies refer to it as “Serotonin syndrome”.


    NSAID over the counter pain relievers can cause bleeding that can lead to death as well as overdose. Like ibuprofen, aspirin, ect Many diseases like various IBD must avoid at all costs. (aspirin led to cannabis sales decline when it came out. Though it obviously cannot be used for everyone.)

    Another would be you try taking something like effexor or cymbalta. (FDA is inundated with complaints) They are commonly prescribed in hope they will stamp out opiate use as a safer alternative for pain relief like many other antidepressants. I have yet to meet anyone who has used it to not have worry’s about brain damage on any duration of that med. google effoxor ‘brain zaps’ twitching and seizures, explosive mud butt,cramps, flue nausea, poisoning feeling, mystery pain, constant moving of limbs, some type of limb twitching, male infertility, insomnia, electrical storm in neuro system ect in., causing mania/anger in some (has norepinephrine which raises bp) A doctor wouldn’t want to ever tell a patent to stop taking it or the brain might go zap due to the physical addiction. They blame that on the apparent pre-existing condition and tell you to take it again.


    Peter R. Breggin, MD
    1990s 1st psychiatrist to speak extensivly on some meds.

    Clearly the list is too great for this one post.

  6. And again, that is forcing conformance in order to earn a living. To make the statement you made, you basically said people should be forced to submit and pass a drug test in order to earn a living. It doesn’t matter if its for millions or pennies. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Obviously Gordon has decided what was more important to him and the NFL has decided that assaulting a woman is not as bad as puffing a joint. This is a fucked up world we live in.

  7. neuroleptics(antipsychotics) come to mind. Research “neuroleptic malignant syndrome”. seems like the neurotoxicity with some of these drugs is INTENTIONAL.

  8. I never said he shouldn’t have the right to smoke. You know as well as I do that as long as the federal government changes the schedule 1 status of marijuana the NFL and many companies through out the United States will continue to act as if they must help police people for smoking that evil weed.
    All I am saying is that as a person like myself who smokes every day were offered Millions of dollars and all I had to do was pass one drug test a years that I was told when it was coming I would make damn sure I could pass that test.

  9. “Many of the drugs have been studied to cause permanent brain damage after first few weeks of use as well.”

    Brain damage? Really? Which drugs are you speaking of? Perhaps a link to where you found this information?

  10. Anyone in pain will have to switch to prescription drugs to get the same relief that cannabis has. Often, this results in using multiple prescription drugs because cannabis isn’t just 1 drug. It is a multiplicity of cannabinoids setup in an infinitely configurable ensemble. (infinite as concentration profiles are though number of cannabinoids are finite)

    A month of prescription drugs can make a patient risk getting addicted to even more substances that have physical addiction with high mortality rates even if they are marketed as “non-narcotic” or “non addicting” such as antidepressants, for example. (Mds dont call it withdrawal but “Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome” and other syndromes per FDA requirement) Meanwhile they fry your organs/neuro system. Many of the drugs have been studied to cause permanent brain damage after first few weeks of use as well. Toss in other pre-existing injuries and meds they may be taking at the time before and add the new meds to replace cannabis, and it isnt hard to see why many organs fail or people get violent.

    Both rich and poor should be allowed cannabis as a fundamental human right to life to avoid the toxic fascist death experiment. It should be a person’s choice and no employment organization should be allowed to operated with such medical negligence to the health of its employees.

  11. Come on, that’s bullshit. Why should someone have to stop using a natural plant just because they can make millions? It is not about a lack of discipline but more about exercising personal choice. Who cares if they tell you in advanced notice you are going to be piss tested? The fact is Gordon should have the same right to consume a plant that brings no harm to others or to himself regardless of what the government’s ill argued position has been for decades. The fact that companies like the NFL pick and choose what offenses deserve a year ban and which only earn a 2 game suspension is ridiculous. It gives them the discretion to pick winners and losers and to punish those that do things they don’t like. Just like the government does to its political opposition.

  12. I have to say as a very big football fan I completely agree with what your saying. But I would like to mention that shortly before Josh Gordon was given his suspension the NFL had claimed that they were going to reevaluate the current policies regarding marijuana. They even mention that it would be better in many for basic aches and pain the players deal with throughout the season
    The thing that really bothers me when I hear of a NFL player testing positive for marijuana is that from my understanding they only test for pot once a year and they are told in plenty of time to quit smoking for a short period of time take the test and go back to your normal lifestyle. Lets face it for what these guys get paid if they cant quit for a short period of time so they can continue to play they have a lack of discipline. It tells you a lot about a person.
    Hopefully with laws changing all of the time the NFL will relax the penalties regarding marijuana. Unfortunately as ling as it is still considered a schedule one drug they can’t just turn a blind eye. But come on guys (players) one test a season and you get advanced warning as to when the test date is. If you don’t have enough sense to figure out how to guarantee that you can pass that test than you don’t deserve to play in the NFL .

  13. Was Rice tested for substances, especially alcohol and prescriptions? Sounds like something a drunk would do, but maybe he’s just psychotic? I would think MJ ought to have medical benefits for football players like treatment for the almost inevitable musculoskeletal problems as well the ones resulting from all those concussions. The NFL should find MJ a welcome alternative to all the lawsuits from former players who are now mangled in both body and mind.

  14. Corporate overlords would rather people get hurt/die on alcohol and opiates that they can sell them. Sports teams only exist for the advertising cash flow. Most of the players value money over geographical region anyway so the concept of going for a geographical region’s pride can seem moot. Cannabis consumption may encourage a torrent of these types of questions and conclusions. Though, plenty of people watch football and use cannabis without these questions. If anything, it could act as a neuroprotectant
    from the alcohol?

    Interestingly, CBD has been found to be especially useful for psychosis that alcohol and opiates are known to cause. Hopefully a safer treatment for addiction. They have even found it to increase the intellectually powers as well in the mentally ill. Perhaps causing them to value questioning everything, with a childlike curiosity, that is needed for an intellect to develop?

  15. The easy answer is the beer companies that sponsor football want it that way. But really the wife beating guy got two games? Pathetic. Are they afraid people will smoke marijuana and start thinking for themselves and slightly free themselves from pervasive media-encouraged passive consumer sheep mentality?

  16. Really, what they should be worried about is the alcohol use. Seems like every week there’s a story about how a drunk player got a DUI, or crashed his car, or beat up his lady, or molested someone in a bar, ect ect.

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