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NFL Bans All Cannabis Advertisements Next Season, Welcomes Hard Liquor Commercials

A new memo handed down from League officials explicitly forbids ads for any cannabis products or paraphernalia.

by Zach Harris

While current and former players alike have taken to the public forum to express the need for natural forms of pain relief, the National Football League has doubled down on their anti-weed stance and explicitly banned any advertisements for cannabis or cannabis-themed products during football telecasts. 

According to MassRoots, the NFL’s 2017 “Prohibited Advertising Categories” memo put the kibosh on legal weed commercials, banning advertisements for “cannabis, other products containing cannabinoids, and products related to the production or ingestion of such products.”

To our knowledge there have been no reports of ganjapreneurs or vape companies pushing to advertise during the Super Bowl, but the pre-emptive exclusion is yet another example of the NFL’s archaic stance on marijuana. 

Despite a large push from NFL players and their union to explore replacing opioid painkillers with CBD and THC, League commissioner Roger Goodell went on ESPN radio in April and told listeners that he believes cannabis could be addictive and have negative health effects for players.

But while the League has tightened their restrictions on the possibility of weed showing up onscreen during football’s 400 commercial breaks, the very same memo has opened the door for hard liquor companies to show advertisements during Sunday’s most popular TV block. 

The league has had beer sponsors for decades but has made an effort to block commercials for hard liquor, until now. Maybe if players start asking for bottles of whiskey in the postgame locker room the NFL will reconsider promoting such dangerous and addictive products.


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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