On 4/20, the NFL Starts Testing Players for Cannabis Use


While some football fans throughout America will light up joints this 4/20, some players they root for will be peeing in cups. April 20 isn’t just a stoner holiday, the day also signifies when the NFL starts drug testing its players.

This Thursday, the league will send players messages notifying them of a drug test — and then the players will have at most” three hours to provide a urine sample. The only players who have failed previous tests are subject to drug testing before 4/20.

The message from the league is twofold: cannabis remains prohibited by the league — but you’d have to be a knucklehead to accidently fail the known drug test (the league finishes its tests on August 9).

Should a player fail this drug test, he enters “Stage One” of the league’s Intervention Program; a second failed test results in “Stage Two,” and a third results in a suspension (Stage Three). And yes, this drug test policy still applies to players who live and play in legal states like Colorado, Washington, and Massachusetts.

Fortunately, the absurdity of this policy and its timing is not at all lost on the NFL’s stars. Just last year, Steelers Running Back Le’veon Bell tweeted about his chance encounter with the NFL’s pee patrol:

Now retired Colts punter Pat McAfee sent out a couple Tweets last year letting fans know he wouldn’t be partaking in a 4/20 celebration:

The league promptly drug tested McAfee the next day:

The NFL may not yet recognize cannabis as medicine, but the league is clearly aware of our high holiday. And if you’re an NFL player planning to joke about smoke, get ready to meet the man with the cup.

About Author

Barry has been writing about marijuana for over five years. Prior to joining Marijuana.com, Barry wrote about sports and music. His work has appeared on TIME, The Huffington Post, Deadspin, and elsewhere on the Internet. In his spare time, he enjoys disco and Kosher Kush.

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