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New marijuana laws don’t affect NFL drug policy


Voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot measures legalizing the use of marijuana by adults on Tuesday, but NFL players in the two states aren’t able to celebrate the news by sparking up a joint without avoiding league discipline.

The drug remains illegal under the league’s substance abuse policy whether a player is on the Broncos, Seahawks or any of the other 30 NFL teams. That means players would still be subject to fines or suspensions for failing drug tests because they have marijuana in their system.

The NFL’s policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, via USA Today. “Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program. The Colorado and Washington laws will have no impact on the operation of the policy.”

The policy doesn’t cover former NFL players, obviously, and one of them weighed in on the big news from Colorado via Twitter. LenDale White, who played running back for the Titans, Seahawks and Broncos and served a suspension for violating the substance abuse policy by smoking pot during his playing days, seems pleased by the development.

There wasn’t much chance of a White comeback before the election, but whatever chances remained may have gone up in a haze of smoke on Tuesday night.