As NFLPA Wants to Ease Marijuana Penalties, a Former Eagle Weighs in

The stigma of marijuana use in the United States has fallen significantly over the past decade with its use for medical purposes now being legalized in much of the country.

But just because many citizens can use marijuana legally doesn't mean it's accepted by professional sports leagues whose players may happen to play in those states where marijuana use is permitted by law.

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The NFLPA is out to change that to some extent.

DeMaurice Smith, the head of the NFL players union, spoke with the Washington Post about bringing a proposal for a "less punitive" approach to marijuana to the NFL in the next round of collective bargaining:

"The proposal will be presented to union's board of player representatives, Smith said Tuesday. If it is approved by those players, Smith said, the proposal will be made to the league. The NFL would have to agree to any changes to the drug policy, which is negotiated and jointly administered by the league and players' union."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also commented on the changing marijuana landscape when speaking with Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd on Wednesday.

"We've had several conversations about this issue and several years ago we did take a less-punitive approach to marijuana," Goodell said. "That will be one of the subjects in the collective bargaining process, which we'd like to get into sooner rather than later."

All of this chatter prompted former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Todd Herremans to share his opinion on the matter.

"Players Health should NOT be used as a bargaining chip. Should be allowed as alternative medicine in states where legal!" he tweeted. "Is [marijuana] any worse than getting drunk or using tobacco? No. Actually the other two lead to disease and death, not cannabis."

NPR weighed in on NFL players looking for alternative pain solutions back in November. It's an interesting listen. 

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You also can listen to Goodell on the marijuana issue around the 6:25 mark below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UORv5tRLjsk?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]
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