Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: NFL drug program ‘needs to be heavily scrutinized’

By Jesse Reed

Jerry Jones has already made it clear the NFL needs to re-examine its drug policy and drop the prohibition of marijuana. Doubling down on that discussion, his son Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys COO, discussed the topic of the NFL’s drug policy in an appearance with PFT Live.

Specifically, Jones appears to wonder if the current policy is really doing much of anything positive at all.

“Well, our system, our testing, has been in place for years and not unlike we do in our organization . . . we always look to see how we can do it better,” Stephen Jones said in an interview with PFT Live, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talkper . “I think Jerry’s opinion, my opinion, is this program, this system has been in place for a long time. I think it needs to be heavily scrutinized in terms of its results.

“Is it helping players in terms of their accountability? And, obviously, addiction is a sickness and you want to make sure — obviously, there’s accountability but it’s also a program that helps players get better. I think personally, I know Jerry and I think that it might could be done better and we just need to take a look at it. Like I said, it’s been the same program that’s been in place for many, many years and I think all things to do with the NFL, we should all want the very best for our players. We should want the very best for our organizations and we should want the very best for our fans, and that’s anything that has to do with the NFL.”

When asked specifically about marijuana, Jones danced around giving a concrete answer but certainly seems to believe testing for marijuana shouldn’t be a huge issue. Instead, he points to how the drug program should be to “help players who have sicknesses and addictions and make them better people off the field…”

“Obviously, when you look at something like that you have to look at, ‘How do we do it in society right now? How does that affect the way a player sees his situation in that lens?’ And then make decisions based on that.”

Many players who get suspended by the NFL due to infractions stemming from the league’s Substances of Abuse Policy do get in trouble because of marijuana.

There have been many studies that have shown cannabis to actually be helpful in treating inflammation and specifically brain trauma. The cannabinoids found in cannabis are certainly less harmful than opiods, which are handed out like candy in NFL locker rooms, so a certain amount of hypocrisy exists.

The NFLPA is looking into relaxing its stance on marijuana, and it seems only a matter of time before this becomes a non-issue. Until then, however, players have a responsibility to adhere to the policy or risk hurting themselves financially and their teams when they do get suspended.