It has begun.
OTish: Legal change impact on sports in CO & WA
This is politics.
on twitter that as long as we stuck to the sports impact aspect we were okay.
I just don't see this ending well. Anything that rides along the politics line always ends up that way.
Now on the actual question or subject I don't see this changing anything. Athletes who want to smoke pot against their organizations/leagues wishes will do so no matter where they live. Being legal in Colorado still doesn't change the fact that it's against the rules of their league/university. I don't see a mass exodus to those states just because of the law change, most athletes think they are above the law already and will do as they please wherever.
that I had not considered - the athletes feeling that they are above the law. I know we recently saw that with Honey Badger on the NCAA level, and we see it all the time in the pros. I guess I was just thinking that if they wanted to use it with less financial risk of arrest then they might consider moving to those states.
Its about rule of law.
You do not have to play sports. Its a privilege not a right. Each governing body can make their own rules and regulations. If you want to partake then you play by these rules. Period. Now, from a professional standpoint where people choose to live and spend their recreational time that obviously should be up to them. Wether they choose to let that effect the rules they agreed upon with those governing bodies they choose to play under that is their choice as well. Whatever those rules are as usual in life its about choices.
Your post is well stated. I am part of several voluntary organizations, one of which is job related, which have stipulations about substance use and other actions. Even though I could disregard these directives, I choose not to, as a matter of personal integrity. In one case, I would clearly disqualify myself from my position were I to make certain (legal) choices.
Athletes are in an analogous situation. They have certain rules and guidelines which they can abide by or not. If your employer/team states, "Don't smoke pot or you will lose your job," you have to decide whether that's a risk you want to take. Your employer often has the right to stipulate what you can do, particularly if your actions can affect job performance. A good example would be the stipulation that aircraft pilots cannot drink alcohol in the 4 hours prior to flying. It is generally accepted that drinking alcohol in that time frame could adversely affect job performance for a pilot.
There are at least 4 options as to the position you take:
- The action is wrong in and of itself.
- The action has been declared illegal, and is wrong because of this declaration.
- The action has been declared illegal, and is wrong if you are caught.
- The action has been declared illegal, which is irrelevant because the laws don't apply to you (above the law.)
With regards to marijuana use, I suspect most would say that smoking pot isn't wrong in and of itself (as witnessed by the law change in CO & WA.) What makes pot smoking "wrong" is that it has been declared "illegal" or off limits. For many, they choose not to smoke pot, because it is illegal. For some, the legality is a mere nuisance, and the issue is whether or not you are apprehended. For a few individuals (athletes, extremely wealthy individuals, well connected powerful individuals,) the law is ignored with impunity, because of the belief that "no one would dare to arrest me." I wonder if this was the kind of mindset with Terrell Pryor et al at Ohio.
Coming back to the OP, I think most athletes would fall into categories 2 or 3. There are a few idiots who would actually take position 4.
kinda impossible for this to not turn into a politics thread, but I'd imagine this has zero effect. Most athletes are not allowed to smoke cigs or drink during the season even if they can do so legally, why would smoking pot be any different. Also, the NCAA is a national institution, and weed usage is still illegal on a federal level. End of story.
Vlade Divac never got that memo
know about that. Transporation across states lines certainly is still illegal, and I am assuming that distribution of it is still illegal in these states, but I don't think simple possession and use of personal amounts is a federal criminal violation. If it was a federal law a state could not pass a law making it legal.
We are no more likely to see NFL talent flood those states than we are to see americans in general move en masse to those states.
Except for you people in Colorado and Washington. There are apparently no rules for y'all.
This one is all yours . . .
I have yet to hear a reasonable argument as to how this is detrimental to athletes, especially when compared to alcohol.
Also, this is a motherfucking amazing day! Excuse me while I go celebrate!
The NCAA also lists caffeine as a banned substance. That is all.
I knew Reggie Bush didn't win that Heisman legitimately!
I can't speak for every sport, but almost every hockey player I know partakes in the green herb at least occasionally in the off-season, and several during the season (maybe twice a month give or take). Once you get down to the AHL and ECHL you have several guys who do it every day. It just isn't seen as a big deal.
While it is against the rules of the league, they don't test for it and when it shows up on a test, the worst that will happen is they'll give you a verbal warning. If they tested and enforced a ban on marijuana in the NHL, they wouldn't have any players left.
Just think about this...when was the last time you heard about a professional athlete in one of the 4 major team sports getting in trouble for testing positive for pot? Never, it doesn't happen. Pot related issues only arise when players are stupid enough to get busted with it in their cars or out in public, ala the Detroit Lions players.
And Bri'onte Dunn(s mom).
There has been a serious shortage of references to Brionte Dunn's mom, now that we are in November.
I thank you for correcting that situation. Let's not let it happen again. There can never be too many referfences to 2012's Mom of the Year!
in the NFL was the only example I could recall or easily find for getting suspended by a pro league for pot usage. You're definitely right it doesn't happen a lot, which was why I was thinking that all of the sudden the Denver and Seattle teams might get an influx of free agents.
Ricky Williams had other problems that made it so he was on a shorter leash if I recall correctly. That may end up happenning, where it's used by the NCAA or whatever organization to add negative consequences, but for most players it's not enforced.
of interviewing the director of scouting department for a NFL team last year. He mentioned that if you take player's name off the board for failed drug test on pot, there almost literally wouldn't be anybody left on the board. He estimated about 85% of the players have gotten caught with pot or failed pot test before ever taking a first snap as a NFL player. He said what matters the most is the frequency and the time in which they failed the team. The less frequent, the better. The earlier the time, the better because if you got caught early on and never failed again, it tells him that he matured.
Look at Calvin Johnson. He admitted to smoking pot at GT in NFL combine interview. Did it deter him from getting drafted at #2 overall? No. Did it deter his success in the NFL? No.
John Infante (@John_Infante) has had some interesting insights into this. I recommend reading his Twitter feed from yesterday.
so the Bylaw Blog guy has a Twitter feed. Thanks for the heads up, I second this, go follow him if you're on Twitter everyon.
It'll still be a banned NCAA substance like Sudafed. Players are regularly drug tested and held to NCAA standards, not just Federal, State, or Local laws.
While a hypothetical Colorado football player can now use marijuana without breaking Colorado laws, he would still be breaking NCAA rules and subject to punishment.
This says it all - and I don't see the NCAA changing this rule even if every state legalized pot.
How regular do you think the NCAA tests players?
Yearly, the NCAA only tests a handful of players from a select number of teams at each school. They also test a handful of players from teams that make it to the post season.
Each school also has their own set of policies and although they tend to test more players the penalty is far less egregious. First offense at most schools is a slap on the wrist and a call to their parents.
Personally, I was not tested one time by either my institution or the NCAA in the 5 years I participated as a student-athlete.
All I"m saying is if an NCAA athlete is caught by the NCAA for having used weed, it wont matter what the state law was.
We were drug tested every year during our on site school physical before our season started before we could participate in any activities.
We were never tested additionally for any end of the season tournament participation, etc; but that didn't mean we were not subject to any random testing that they would have decided to do.
I'm just glad they didn't test for alcohol consumption on the weekends!
There are plenty of schools that don't drug test during physicals, though. That policy varies from AD to AD (and possibly even coach to coach).
I don't think pro athletes will be more likely to want to play for Denver or Seattle teams. If they want to smoke weed theyre going to do it regardless of wether its legal or not in the state they live in.
It also is not quite legal. Have a few federal hurdles to clear first.
Welcome back Colorado football!
But I kind of see Colorado getting Top-10 recruiting classes, and then going 1-11 every year.
I'm moving to Colorado, I support this law!
changing my mgousername to "rob f in Colorado"?
Though I think time will prove you wrong on your last point.
I could definitely see the federal government declining to do anything for a long period of time. I haven't seen anything that would indicate support for national legalization, and I haven't seen anything from the administration/DOJ that makes me think prosecuting these cases is something that would actually become commonplace. I agree that eventually something will have to happen on their end, but that could be a long time from now, and could happen in a country with pot legal (in varying degrees) in like thirty states.
pointing me in the right direction to find some of that material? It's a topic of interest but it's been about six months since I've done any reading on it.
The tone of your comments combined with your posting of a Reason.com link - you must be working hard to not dispense personal opinion!
You're right no matter what happens. Got it.
Your given scenario is outright ridiculous, so...
I dont know about the impact on football but i can tell you that the next time I want to go on a ski vacation I'm heading for the Rockies baby!
I think the balance of power in the Utah vs Colorado ski debate just took a major shift.
I know it is a banned substance by the NCAA, but isn't it up to each school's athletic department if they actually test their athletes or not? I thought the actual drug testing was optional, so if a school chooses not to test their athletes then it would be very unlikely for an athlete to get caught smoking. Is this still true? Does anyone know the policies at universities in CO and WA?
It is basically legal in every state that passed the medicinal use law anyway. If you don't know of a doctor that will issue anyone a medicinal use card then you aren't looking very hard. Cool that it is completely legal in WA and CO. I am very shocked it didn't pass in OR because... well yea... it's OR.
No, it's not legal, but it's easy to get and it's not a priority for cops, so it's as if its legal.
Nostalgia. It's like buying peanuts from a vendor at the stadium vs. the store. They may be the same peanuts, but they taste better when you buy them from the vendor. That said, this is a silly argument. The federal law still says it is illegal. Companies (NCAA and NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL are all companies, after all) will continue to test for it and will continue to discipline as they have in the past.
Oh you mean exactly the way AA was back in the day when I was in school (78-81) and it was a $5.00 fine for possesson of less than two ounces?
People forget that we once led the charge in decrimilization of pot. Ahhh.....memories.
Just to clarify, the WA law makes it legal only for those 21 or older. So if you are a freshman, sophomore or junior who is 18, 19 or 20 you would be still be subject to a minor in possession type charge such as there is for alcohol.
1. Will it really change anything? It's not like anyone was quaking in their boots about smoking pot in any state because the government is on the case.
2. Pot is still on the NCAA's list of banned substances.
3. Unless I'm very wrong about this, it's my understanding that selling marijuana is still a federal crime, which is the main thing about states passing these laws. The FBI can still go after marijuana store owners in those states. They occasionally prosecute medicinal marijuana guys already--and I think the Supreme Court sided with the FBI in a case. I gotta read up again because this is all coming from when Michigan was decriminalizing and I read up on it so I'm several years out of date.
4. Even if it's legal, pot still makes you less healthy, more lethargic, less focused, and even if you may be more thoughtful that doesn't really help with a martial pursuit like sports. Lots of athletes smoke pot, and the same will continue to do so. However a coach who recruits based on "in our state it's legal!" is lending tacit support to an activity that is detrimental to his team. If Michigan's drinking age was 19, I bet MSU and Michigan could have access to kids who make life decisions based on how easy it is to obtain alcohol for two years, but how much can you build a program on a person like that, or by encouraging drinking? Maybe there's an opening here for, say, Colorado State or Washington State to recast their programs as the hippie team--certainly USC under Carroll did okay recruiting the kids impressed by stardom and being members of the Hollywood lifestyle. However the efficacy of "We're the Pot Program" as a recruiting tool is probably far outweighed by the negatives of a team full of pot-heads.
The wikipedia page outlines what Amendment 64 holds.
Basically, wholesale sale is still illegal, but there is no longer a prohibition against usage, small-scale cultivation, and "gifting" of small amounts to others. And while the federal government does have the right under the Commerce Clause to regulate the distribution of marijuana, even medicinal, I've read a couple of statements from high-ranking government administrators that basically said it would not be a "priority" of the federal government to punish people who used small amounts of marijuana permissible in their state.
The funny thing is, I never smoked pot and have no desire. But the OP's question does have merit because it apparently affects quite a few people.
Like Butterfield says above, it depends how the feds respond. But the main avenue for influence, IME, is parents who tell their pot-smoking athletic children to go west, young men, in order to minimize the chances that they get caught. If the feds don't step up enforcement enough to offset the vacuum of local enforcement, it'll be easier, ceteris paribus, to smoke without consequences in those states. I guess the NCAA could move to require increased testing in states with legalized recreational drug use to fill the vacuum, but I don't see it happening.
In other breaking news the Honey Badger has stated interest in transfering to CU, CSU, or WSU
I have a hard time believing this will change an athlete's behavior, but it probably will just change the extent to which one can be punished by the school (at least public schools) and authorities.
With few exceptions, private organizations can impose whatever rules they want on their members. Now, if the NCAA suddenly allowed recreational pot usage, THAT would be momentous. And pretty awesome.
May not influence any pro atheletes to play here, but if they're smart, it might invite them to invest here like Peyton Manning just did: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8553736/peyton-manning-invests-21-denver-papa-john-pizza-shops
The more important question; Does Tyrann Mathhieu go to Washington or Colorado?
I wish I could remember where I heard it, but I have a short story:
Someone was high at work, and his boss came around to confront him on it. The pothead, thinking he had outsmarted the boss, whipped out a medical marijuana card and said "hey, I have a prescription, you can't say I can't smoke." The boss came back with "you're legally allowed to drink too, but not on the job. You're fired.'
I don't think the laws will have much, if any, effect on people moving toward the states that legalized pot. It's still against federal law, still included in drug tests of most companies, and still has a significant mind-altering effect, that does not help productivity. Businesses and schools will make sure that pot smoking does not become any more prevalent than it already is.
Even though its now legal in those states.... wont have much impact on corporate america. Airline Pilots / School bus Drivers / Train engineer / surgeon / Day Care workers / Forklift guy at Home Depot. Pretty much any job that involves decision making where a delayed reaction can cause a tire fire will be a "No Fly Zone" (just like alcohol). Insurance Companies will demand drug / alcohol screens or wont Insure the business to begin with or fully cover a claim post incident with a positive test. Thus I wouldnt see the NCAA openly permitting its use either. Those same insurance companies cover athletes catastrophic injuries. (Example: Doctor on the sideline unable to tell if a player has a concussion or head injury because guy is also a pot head and the drug is making it hard for the doctor to make a diagnosis)
my 2 cents
Americans for Safe Access vs DEA over the schedule 1 classification could have a significant impact on how this all plays out as far as federal involvement, raids, etc. With regards to sports at the end of the day the school/team/NCAA/NFL can make whatever rules they please and players can either adhere to those rules or face the consequences. I don't think we'll see any rule changes unless recreational use is legalized nationwide like alcohol. I definitely don't see it changing anything at the college level since both states have set a minimum age of 21.
players feeling like they're above the law, it's not very difficult to get away with smoking weed. Keep small quantities in your home and use it at home and there's about a 0% chance you'll get in trouble unless cops bust in your home for other reasons.
This law will have no impact on professional athletes, who have agreed in their collective bargaining agreements that marijuana is a banned substance and they can be suspended for it if they test positive. They have a signed contract with their employers that specifically bans marijuana and the law won't change that.
Same thing for college athletes, Olympic athletes, etc. -- the rules governing them prohibit the use of marijuana.
It does not matter whether the athletes are on the job or not. They cannot use it.
The DEA today said the law changes nothing in their view: It remains against federal law to possess, use or cultivate pot.
What we can expect in Colorado and Washington in the short term is.... nothing, at least until more of this is sorted out. What is most likely to happen is those state governments will be talking to the feds about how the feds will react as the implementation of this law proceeds. One could imagine the governor of Colorado letting someone try to open up a retail marijuana outlet, even though he knows the feds will come right in and shut it down. Turning enforcement over to the feds protects him politically because the voters in his state have said they don't want the state to enforce it. So when he says he will honor the will of the voters, that really means nothing.
The feds typically do not prosecute marijuana cases unless it is a distribution charge involving a large quantity -- they leave the minor cases to the states. But if a state is declaring it no longer will enforce it, most analysts expect the federal government to sue Colorado and Washington on the grounds that a state law cannot supercede federal law.
This is very similar to the Arizona immigration law in some respects, though the marijuana case will law actually be more clearcut in favor of the feds. In the case of Arizona, the Supreme Court split because it was a case in which Arizona was seeking to enforce a state law on the grounds that, in the view of Jan Brewer anyway, the feds had failed to enforce the same law.
This is a case of a state in direct conflict with a federal law. The feds' potential actions could take many forms, from pursuing busts and criminal cases themselves to simply challenging the law in court and preventing it from being enacted until a federal judge decides. But I would say there is no chance of the feds just letting this go or the NBA, NFL, NCAA, MLB, USOC or any other sport governing body allowing it for athletes in those two states.
"The Drug Enforcement Administration quickly tried to spoil their Rocky Mountain high, issuing a statement Wednesday morning saying the DEA's "enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged."
I don't think legalizing weed means that suddenly there will be a huge increase in people smoking it. It's not like it was that hard to purchase in the first place, especially if you're a professional athlete.
People who want to use it already are using it. And judging by the vote totals, a lot of people are using it!
I just realized that they are now one of the most aptly named teams in all of pro sports. Fitting that they play in the mile high city.
I'm excited for this years blazers nuggets game. I think they play in late to mid April.
It doesn't look like the leagues or the NCAA care what the voters decided. It's still banned.
But this makes sense. There's no way the sports leagues would ever lead this charge. If the U.S. culture changes over time, they'll follow a long. But this is a long way from that.
Not sure how it will affect the big four sports, but those states are going to have some sick ultimate Frisbee and disc golf teams.
These new ones are unlikely to affect corporate/organizational rules. You can bet that companies like WalMart will be heading to those states' supreme courts to get decisions on whether the new laws mean they cannot fire for drug test failure related to this particular drug. That's up in the air.
My understanding of the NCAA rules is that the universities administer the tests. The universities may decide that they want to test the legal waters in the same way that large companies will, or they may decide to follow the intent of the new laws and simply not test student atheletes for marijuana (or give plenty of warning when they make a show for the NCAA).
Pro teams will be much more like corporate drug testing, but they could follow the same path of forewarning. The fundamental problem with testing for marijuana is that the test does not indicate whether the person being tested is under the influence when the testing occurs. With most commonly used recreational drugs, a person won't test positive for use within a few hours or days. With marijuana, a person could test positive weeks after last use. I would think that universities would prefer that the athelets not be high on anything during practice and games, but it's not currently possible to determine that for marijuana.
So under the regime of these new laws, we may also see multiple law suits filed by individuals, groups, and/or unions to try and stop the testing based on the fact that the individual may use a legal (by the state law) substance and be punished for it when that use had no affect on performance or mental capacity at the time of testing.
Lastly, the matter will be significantly complicated by federal law and whether the DoJ decides to step in and start arresting people on federal charges, something that currently is usually reserved for large amounts. All this is a long way of saying: it's likely to be kind of messy for quite some time.
on your very good post here: drug tests in college athletics are administered by both the school and the NCAA. The NCAA has random drug screenings throughout the three seasons they sponsor sports in (the odds of getting tested are extremely low, however, and pretty much no athlete I've met is worried about getting tested by the NCAA) as well as giving random tests at their championship events, the first round of March Madness, for example. If an athlete tests positive here, they face fairly severe NCAA sanctions, such as a year-long competition ban. Most colleges and universities have additional testing procedures that are only subject to their own rules.
Long story short, Colorado's AD could make a policy to not test for marijuana, or make the punishment for testing positive very lenient (they have to do something if they see it, marijuana is considered a performance enhancing drug by the NCAA), but the NCAA will still come down on athletes that test positive.
I don't see this as having an impact on half of Washington DIA football, clearly for any of Mike Leach's players Grog is the drug of choice.