Cowboys' Jerry Jones reportedly wants NFL to drop its ban on marijuana use

After years of trying to get the NFL to overturn its marijuana policy, the NFLPA might finally have someone in its corner who can actually make that happen: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. 

According to Pro Football Talk, Jones and the NFL’s 31 other owners held a private meeting at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix last week, and during that private meeting, Jones told the other owners that he wants the NFL to “drop its prohibition on marijuana use.”

Jones, who is already one of the most powerful owners in the NFL, probably just became the most popular among players with that one statement. Despite the fact that Jones wants the marijuana policy to change, apparently, he was reminded by his fellow owners that a change won’t be coming anytime soon because it’s something that would have to be collectively bargained. 

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Jerry Jones might’ve just become the most popular owner in the NFL.  USATSI

If Jones wants the NFL to dump its ban on marijuana, he’ll likely have to wait until the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2020. 

Although the NFL clearly isn’t ready to let players smoke marijuana whenever they want, the league has become more lenient toward the drug. In 2015, the NFL altered its pot policy and allowed the threshold for a positive marijuana test to be pumped up to 35 nanograms per milliliter. Before that, the threshold was 15 nanograms per milliliter (For perspective, MLB’s threshold for failure is 50 nanograms per milliliter, meaning the NFL has the strictest policy of the four major pro sports). 

Back in January, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith suggested that the player’s association would ask for a more lenient marijuana policy. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t seem very open to the idea at the Super Bowl

If players want a more lenient drug policy, then they’ll have to be willing to make some concessions in the next CBA, according to Goodell. 

“We sent the union last spring, several pages or lists of issues that we wanted to address,” Goodell said in February. “As the league and as ownership and I expect – and we put on that list drug policy as one of those issues – so we would love to engage, but I think what we’re seeing is a reason why we should all sit down and get at the table, begin negotiations so that if we want to reach a different policy on either the drug policy or any other matter, we can all begin that earlier and do it in a way that’s responsible.”

Under the current marijuana policy, players can be suspended after their fourth failed test. 

Although the NFL bans marijuana use, the drug is now legal in half the country. If you include medical marijuana use, pot is technically legal in a total of 25 states.

As for Jones, he also brought up several other issues during the private meeting among owners. For one, the Cowboys owner wants all 32 owners to be involved in figuring out Goodell’s annual compensation package, instead of just the compensation committee. 

One other thing that Jones is pushing for is a request that the league ends “the practice of investigating off-field misconduct.” It seems that Jones would rather let the criminal justice system run its course when there’s an incident involving a player, and the league would then stay out of it. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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