Last week, the NFL’s 32 team owners held a private meeting in Arizona, and among the normal chatter of the uber-wealthy gridiron magnates, Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones spoke up and asked that marijuana be removed from the league’s banned substances list.
According to NBC’s Pro Football Talk, the outspoken Jones made his voice heard throughout the meeting, making the case for reversing the cannabis ban, as well as doing away with league interference in off-field incidents involving players.
Players are currently tested for a slew of banned substances, including marijuana, and face an automatic suspension after a fourth positive test. The first three failed drug tests are met with fines and required drug classes.
However, as soon as news of Jones’ comments broke, skeptics around the NFL began wondering about Jerry’s true motives. Clarence Hill Jr., a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram immediately correlated Jones’ comments to Cowboys players Randy Gregory and Ezekiel Elliott. Gregory is currently serving a yearlong suspension due to his marijuana use, and Elliott, who is still under investigation by the league for a domestic violence issue, also faced scrutiny for a trip to a retail pot shop during the team’s trip to play the Seahawks in Seattle during his rookie season last year.
Removing the marijuana ban and league interference in off-field incidents like Elliott’s would certainly help Jerry’s Cowboys - and theoretically generate more revenue for the team’s suddenly pro-pot owner.
Even with Jones’ backing, it won’t be possible to remove marijuana from the banned substances list without a concession from the NFL Players Association, and the next collective bargaining agreement isn’t scheduled until 2020.
That means Jones, and NFL players, will have to wait at least a few more seasons before Elliott can actually make a purchase on his next trip to a Washington pot shop without risking punishment.