The Marijuana Policy Project has placed another sports-related pro-marijuana billboard, this time targeting the National Football League and their harsh penalties for players caught using cannabis.
That policy is especially harsh in Colorado and Washington where the use, possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana are now legal, MPP spokesman Mason Tvert says.
“For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league,” Tvert said in a press release. “The league would never punish a player simply for having a couple beers, so why does it penalize them for using a substance that is less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violence.”
Neither Washington nor Colorado’s newly passed marijuana laws – both supported by MPP – protect marijuana users from being fired for off-duty marijuana usage. Supporters point out that private employers can also ban alcohol use off-duty if they so choose. The problem (as anyone who has ever peed in a cup can tell you) is that employers would have a hard time testing for weekend alcohol use Monday morning whereas marijuana metabolites can remain in the system for a month or more depending on a person’s body chemistry.
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller learned that the hard way over the off-season, garnering a six-game suspension for a drug test widely believed to have come up positive for cannabis.
Always one for a publicity stunt, the 48-foot wide billboard has the fingerprints Tvert – who has been known for his attention-grabbing advertisements and billboards for years.
And it will get noticed, though likely not through any TV spots. Thursday night is the NFL season opener in Denver, and thousands of fans regularly stream down sizable Federal Blvd. which runs just West of Mile High Stadium.
The NFL likely won’t be showing or allowing any shots of the sign in the official broadcast, however. They are sponsored by beer manufacturers, after all. And while the advertisement specifically calls on the NFL to allow it’s employees to make a safer choice, it also brings up a broader discussion of why alcohol use and discussion is considered normal in pretty much every workplace (How many times have you heard: “I can’t wait to get a beer after work”?) while marijuana isn’t.
|Marijuana Policy Project/Mason Tvert.|
Either way, there’s an actual petition out there to make the NFL marijuana-tolerant. If you want to sign the petition, head over to Change.org
Not all sports are as intolerant towards cannabis. Recently, the World Anti Doping Administration raised the marijuana-level threshold for athletes to 150 nanograms of THC metabolites per every milliliter of blood. That means that most athletes could still recreationally enjoy cannabis up until a few weeks before their competition and still be considered “drug free”.