As of Monday, players in the National Football League (NFL) can be subject to random drug tests from the league. But for the first time, they won’t have to worry about testing positive for marijuana.
It is a new era in the NFL—or more specifically, a new collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated last year and that established a new drug policy for the league.
As detailed by Boston Globe NFL reporter Ben Volin, under the new policy agreed to by the league and the NFL players’ union, players will not get tested for THC—the key chemical found in pot—until the preseason. It is the first offseason that THC won’t be monitored during the random drug testing window, meaning that players can comfortably puff a joint or chew on an edible until action gets underway later this year.
As Volin put it, the “marijuana test is truly a ‘discipline test’ for NFL players now. They know exactly when it happens — between the start of training camp and the 1st preseason game. All they need to do is stay clean for a few weeks, pass their test, and they can light up the rest of the season.”
The new policy officially took effect on