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NFL, NFLPA should offer to suspend marijuana testing for players who get vaccinated

To truly end the pandemic with minimal additional serious illnesses and deaths, everyone should get vaccinated. Plenty of NFL players continue to resist.

Here’s an idea that would get plenty of them to get the shot(s) now: Offer to suspend marijuana testing for any player who has been vaccinated.

It’s frankly an offer that, to be most effective, should have been made a month ago. Currently, players who hope to pass their annual substance-abuse test within the first two weeks of training camp have stopped smoking, given the time that it takes for the marijuana metabolites to exit the human body.

The overall drug-testing process, as currently constructed by the league and the union, makes no real sense. Players not in the program can smoke from the moment they give their annual training-camp sample until roughly a month before the start of the next training camp, without ever being detected. So why do marijuana testing at all?

More importantly, why put players who can smoke as much as they want for 11 consecutive months in a position where they have to quit cold turkey for a month, when they may need marijuana to treat pain and/or anxiety and/or depression?

No, it makes no sense. But it makes plenty of sense for the league and the union to offer to all players right now a very simple deal: Get vaccinated, and don’t get tested for marijuana when you report from camp. That would go a long way toward getting all teams to the 85-percent threshold, immediately.