Survey: NFL players say some teammates use marijuana before they play
One-fifth of NFL players have seen a teammate use pot before a game
NFL players don't just use marijuana in their free time -- some will even use it on game day.
According to a player survey conducted by ESPN.com, 22 percent of players say that they've "known a teammate to use marijuana before a game."
The survey included a total of 226 players, with 127 of those coming from the AFC and 99 respondents coming from the NFC.
If you're wondering how it's possible that a player can use marijuana before a game and not get suspended, it's because most players in the NFL aren't drug-tested weekly. Any player not in the league's drug program is only subjected to one test per year and players can "prepare" for that test because they know the window for when it will be coming. Each player is subjected to a test between April 20 -- yes, 4/20 -- and August 9.
According to the survey, 67 percent of players feel that it's not that hard to "beat the NFL's system" for testing recreational drugs.
The survey also found that 71 percent of players feel that marijuana should be legal in all states. Currently, recreational marijuana use is only legal in four states across the country -- Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon. Of those four states, only two of them have an NFL team (Seattle, Denver).
If you include medical marijuana use, then pot is technically legal in a total of 25 states. When players are injured, they clearly favor marijuana over using painkillers, which can potentially be addictive.
In the survey, 61 percent of respondents said they believe players would be taking less painkillers if it were legal for them to use marijuana. Forty-one percent of players also added that marijuana is better for recovering and pain control, versus 32 percent of players who say that painkillers are better.
If players are hoping that the NFL will one day stop testing for marijuana, they're probably going to have to wait at least five years. If the league were going to stop testing players for pot, that would likely have to be negotiated in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. The current CBA doesn't expire until after the 2020 season.
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