NFL adds Synthetic Marijuana to banned list

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 07, 2016.

In a major development, the National Football League (NFL) has added synthetic marijuana to the list of banned substances within its 2016 drug policy. The decision was jointly announced by the league and the NFL Players Association on Wednesday.

The league's drug policy is developed jointly by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. According to the policy, any player whose drug test reveals more than 2.5 ng/ML of synthetic cannabinoids will be in violation and subject to the normal course of intervention and potential discipline.

Nine drugs, including cocaine, PCP and traditional marijuana, are part of the NFL's standard testing for performance-enhancing drugs. Now synthetic marijuana can be tested as it is added to the list of banned substances of the league.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as "Spice," "K2" or "Blaze," is made by spraying psychoactive chemicals on dried and shredded plant material. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it may affect the brain more powerfully and unpredictably than traditional marijuana. Although some users consider the synthetic marijuana to be a legal alternative to marijuana, it has been linked to hallucinations, violent behavior and extreme paranoia in some users.

The recent announcement has come in the wake of two high-profile incidents involving NFL players who were allegedly high on synthetic marijuana.

 In January, then-New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones behaved bizarrely, reportedly after using the drug. According to Police records, he arrived at a Foxborough police station seeking help for a bad reaction.

In another incident, Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman reportedly used synthetic marijuana before he was involved in a hit-and-run accident last year.

Notably, NFL Players and teams were informed about the change in drug policy in August. However it was made public on Wednesday.

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