Are NFL Players Allowed to Smoke Weed? Here’s Everything You Wanted to Know

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Can you Smoke Weed in the NFL?

Penalties for a Positive Test

Is Smoking Weed Good for NFL Players?

NFL Players Who Openly Support Cannabis 

The Final Punt on Cannabis


Throughout the nation, marijuana is becoming legal in many states. With this, there’s an increase in inquiries about the substance and professional sports. Lagging behind the NBA, NHL, and MLB, the NFL weed policy has changed with increased support for cannabis use by players and fans. 


Do you want to know the rules for your favorite quarterbacks, running backs, or linemen? Then, let’s take a deeper look at weed and football in the United States. 


Can you Smoke Weed in the NFL?

Yes, as of March 2020, the NFL weed policies have become more progressive. The updated procedures allow NFL players to consume marijuana products within set regulations. 



From April 20th until August 9th, players are free to consume cannabis, and the league will not test them. This new rule aligns with the holiday 420, which is excellent news for those who celebrate and play football. In addition, if a player resides in a state where growing is legal, they can cultivate autoflower marijuana seeds without fear of penalty. 


During this time, the NFL will continue doing off-season drug testing. The league tests each player randomly once, but they will not test the level of THC. The tests will continue to look for other recreational drugs like cocaine, heroin, and performance enhancers like steroids. 



Once training starts, the NFL weed policies change. Does the NFL test for weed? Yes. 

The league will test players for THC during the regular season. Ten players from each team are randomly selected each week. The updated policy (in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s levels) has increased the threshold of THC to be considered a positive result. 


Before, it was 35 nanograms/ml, and as of March 2020, 150 nanograms/ml of THC are needed to test positive. This is excellent news for football players who smoke weed. Also, the league doesn’t look for CBD, so players can use products with no THC without any fear of testing positive. 


Penalties for a Positive Test

From April to August, there are no penalties for NFL players who consume marijuana. However, during the season, there are. 


Historically, the NFL had severe consequences for players who used cannabis, including; suspensions, reduced pay, and even some players being banned for life. 


Former NFL player Ricky Williams received five suspensions and a full-year ban for using marijuana. Yet, Williams still managed to rush more than 10,000 yards and scored 66 touchdowns in his career. It doesn’t seem like his weed use held him back. 


The penalties for a positive THC test during the season aren’t as severe as before. A failed drug test will only result in a fine based on their week’s salary, with no suspension. Repeated offenses will result in higher fines. The players also need to enter an Intervention Program to help support substance abuse. 


Failure to show up for a drug test or to cooperate at testing clinics also results in fines. The only way a player can get suspended is their 4th violation of not cooperating or refusing to test. 


What Happens to NFL Players Who Were Banned Before March 2020?

The updated NFL weed policy doesn’t have the power to reverse previous penalties. Players suspended indefinitely before March 2020 must petition Commissioner Roger Goodell to be let back into the NFL. Each case will be looked at individually, but there is hope for banned NFL players as many have returned to the game.


Randy Gregory was banned for life in February 2019 after failing or missing four drug tests. He is one NFL player that asked to be let back in with the new rules. He played in the 2021 season with the Denver Broncos and has not had any suspensions yet. 


Is Smoking Weed Good for NFL Players?

Researchers have proven that marijuana relieves both physical and mental issues. Consuming cannabis products might assist players in those areas. Although there are ways to prevent injuries, football players endure a lot of serious affliction due to the aggressive nature of the game. The stress of performing well and being a celebrity might cause mental health illnesses as well. 


Smoking isn’t the healthiest way to consume cannabis products due to the combustion. It might cause coughing and weaken the lungs, which may make running and overall endurance more difficult. However, players who consume edibles, creams, or oils might see higher positive effects with limited side effects. 


Players like Ricky Williams argue that cannabis is better than opioid drugs, which doctors prescribe to those with injuries. He states that weed is easier on the liver and doesn’t eliminate your body awareness like other pain medication. 


A study from the National Library of Medicine states that 51% of NFL players used opioids in their career, and of those who used, 71% of them said they misused the prescribed medication. 


A less addictive substance to treat pain is marijuana which has less harsh side effects. 


NFL Players Who Openly Support Cannabis 

Although Ricky Williams is retired, he still fights for weed and football to be united. He isn’t the only one who supports this idea either. 


Rob Gronkowski has talked about the benefits of marijuana, specifically CBD, for mental and physical health. He has even partnered with Abacus Health Products, a brand that sells CBD-infused items like drinks, tinctures, and topical creams. 


Eugene Monroe was the first active NFL player to ask the league to limit testing for marijuana so he and his teammates could use it for chronic pain due to the game. 


These players are just a few that openly support marijuana. As more researchers are discovering new benefits and legality is increasing, so is the support. 


The Final Punt on Cannabis

There have been progressive moves toward NFL players smoking marijuana in the last few years. As of March 2020, players can consume cannabis products freely from April until August. During the rest of the year, they must remain below 150 ng/ml of THC to pass a drug test. 


The change in the NFL policy is a huge step forward for the league. Hopefully, it reduces the use of opioids, which have harsh side effects and abuse. Many NFL players can use cannabis products for both physical and mental health. 


Many current and former players openly support marijuana products and believe it should be entirely legal. Although there are restrictions, they have reduced immensely. 


If you want to be like your favorite NFL player, don’t forget to purchase some weed seeds online and consume your harvest while watching the Super Bowl. 


Jennifer Gallagher

Jennifer Gallagher, an experienced cannabis grower at SeedSupreme Seedbank. During a 7-year career in the marijuana growing business, Jennifer has gained a high competence in this field. As far as weed is concerned, she knows it all inside out. Jennifer is an expert in pot-growing, as well as cannabis types and their effects. She’s also familiar with all legislation nuances.