Today, the NFL released Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after TMZ released a video of Rice punching his then fiancé and now wife, Janay Palmer. The original video that was released a few months ago showed Rice dragging her from an elevator in Atlantic City, but the new video shows Rice in the moment that he actually knocked his wife unconscious.
In July, journalists covering the NFL reported that the league had seen this first tape and that it would be used in weighing Rice’s punishment, but the league and the Ravens didm’t do that and said they never saw the tape until it was released today.
How does this relate to marijuana? Well, players, their agents and marijuana activists were up in arms over how Ray Rice’s original suspension was for only two games, while players who have been caught using marijuana suffer much longer suspensions. The league and the players’ union recently revamped its domestic abuse policy, where players will now be suspended six games for a first offense and banned for life for a second offense. Over the last few months, the league has also been trying to come up with a new NFL drug police, without any success.
So now that Ray Rice is out of the league, he must suffer the consequences. As for these next six players, they are still in the league, suffering their punishments for smoking cannabis, which to this writer, seems a lot less abusive than knocking out someone you allegedly love and care for.
1. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns: As a repeat offender (he tested positive for marijuana earlier in 2014), Gordon’s second positive test led to him being suspended for the entire 2014 season. (The NFL will usually suspend first-time offenders for four games, while second-time offenders can get a year and multiple offenders can get banned for life.
2. Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals: Suspended for the 2014 season after testing positive for marijuana.
3. Von Miller, Denver Broncos: Suspended for four games in 2013 after testing positive for marijuana, which is legal in the Broncos’ home state of Colorado.
4. Walter Thurmond, Seattle Seahawks: Suspended for four games in 2013 after testing positive for “substance abuse” (NFL’s term), with the substance in question likely marijuana—also legal in the state of Washington.
5. Brandon Browner, New England Patriots: Suspended for all of 2013 and for four games in 2014 for testing positive for marijuana, and was threatened with a lifetime ban.
6. Will Hill, New York Giants: Suspended for six games for 2014 and suspended for four games in 2013 after testing positive for “substance abuse” (again, almost certainly marijuana).