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Marijuana policy for “voluntary” workouts could be a fair trade

Obama Admin. Unveils New Policy Easing Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Dave Warden, a bud tender at Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary, displays various types of marijuana available to patients on October 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Attorney General Eric Holder announced new guidelines today for federal prosecutors in states where the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is allowed under state law. Federal prosecutors will no longer trump the state with raids on the southern California dispensaries as they had been doing, but Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley recently began a crackdown campaign that will include raids against the facilities. Cooley maintains that virtually all marijuana dispensaries are in violation of the law because they profit from their product. The city of LA has been slow to come to agreement on how to regulate its 800 to 1,000 dispensaries. Californians voted to allow sick people with referrals from doctors to consume cannabis with the passage of state ballot Proposition 215 in 1996 and a total of 14 states now allow the medicinal use of marijuana. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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The NFL has a ban on marijuana around most players successfully navigate. The NFL also has voluntary offseason workouts in which most players choose to participate. Those two concepts could provide the basis for a fair and sensible tradeoff in the next labor deal.

The swap would be simple: The prohibition on marijuana use ends, and the “voluntary” offseason workouts become fully or mostly mandatory. It’s a win-win that removes from the sport a pair of currently nonsensical policies that are widely ignored.

Players smoke marijuana, and the smart ones know how to legitimately beat the once-per-year testing process. Players also show up for voluntary offseason workouts, in such numbers that the exceptions generate significant attention and, in some cities, scorn.

It’s an easy trade, with a couple of meaningless and irrelevant policies going away for good, giving each side something to give up, even though neither side is really giving up all that much.

As PFT reported earlier this year, the NFL wants to get away from policing marijuana use by players. If the league is looking for something in return -- and if the players are willing to give up anything -- voluntary workouts that are voluntary in name only make the most sense.