The Absurdity of the NFL's Cannabis Policy
I'm not here to defend Josh Gordon.
Having broken the same rule multiple times, the blame falls on him and him alone for his current circumstances.
After the wideout tested positive for marijuana, these circumstances are a possible 1-year suspension and an uncertain future with the suddenly intriguing Cleveland Browns.
Since the news, Gordon has been portrayed as troubled, immature and a drug addict.
Cris Carter had harsh words for Gordon, saying "It's fairly obvious that using substances is more important to him than anything else." Considering he's been in trouble for substance use multiple times, it's hard to argue.
But that's the small picture. Let's talk bigger.
All of Josh Gordon's off-field issues have involved marijuana. All of them. The guy isn't doing meth.
Yet, the mainstream media's take leads you to believe he's Skinny Pete from Breaking Bad.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "If a law is unjust, a citizen is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to." Really, isn't this all Josh Gordon has done?
Gordon used a substance that is inherently good. He used a healing substance, not one that leads to violence or physical addiction. He chose a substance that families of children with epilepsy are flocking to Colorado for. He smoked the same stuff thousands of senior citizens with cancer smoke. But testing positive for it lands you a one year suspension.
Even more ironic is the recent dialogue between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Harvard MD Lester Grinspoon.
The 86-year old Grinspoon, with over 50 years of cannabis research under his belt, believes Goodell should consider using medical marijuana to treat Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (CTE).
What's happening here, then, is the product of an asinine system. The media and NFL are ridiculing and suspending a guy for using the very substance that may one day be their biggest asset in the fight against football-related brain injuries. If not for a lack of government-allowed research, it already would be.
Let's also remember how damn good Josh Gordon is at his job. If using marijuana has affected him negatively, it sure as hell hasn't looked like it. He is one of the elite players at his position and many believe there were none better in the 2013 season. A substance should be banned for causing harm to a player or giving him a competitive advantage. Besides possibly boosting his mood and calming some game anxiety, marijuana does neither.
There's a reason Gordon denies that he needs help or that he's hit rock bottom. He doesn't, and he hasn't.
For anyone educated whatsoever on cannabis, this all becomes borderline humorous. Three-hundred pound football fans across the country are saying Gordon needs help.
Really? One of the most impressive physical specimens in the world, a guy who's more in shape than 99.9% of the country and better at his job than most of us will ever be needs an intervention? Got it.
The sad truth is that Gordon is simply a few years too early. Eventually, common sense will prevail and none of this will be a big deal.
In the meantime, let's call it what it is.
Please email me at Jack.Giddingson@gmail.com with questions or comments.
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